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Cuomo permits much of upstate to resume elective surgeries 


Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that many counties in the state with low levels of the coronavirus will be allowed to resume elective surgeries in the coming days.

Cuomo says the counties, all of them upstate, will be permitted to resume the procedures, but only if they can keep 30% of their hospital beds and ICU beds free in case the virus resurges.

“When you cancel elective surgeries, hospitals feel a financial pinch because that’s where they make their money is on elective surgeries,” said Cuomo.

He said in the regions hardest hit by the illness, the numbers of deaths and hospitalizations are declining at a very slow rate. There were 330 deaths in New York from COVID-19 on Tuesday.

The governor also devoted several minutes to a critique of U.S. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans. McConnell has said that a federal bailout would amount to favoritism of blue states, which have more infected people, over red states.

Cuomo called it an “ugly sentiment” and said politics must be put aside in this crisis. 

“You have human suffering. You have people dying. You can’t stop the politics, even in this moment?” Cuomo said. “That’s what this is about, and that’s why it is so disturbing on a fundamental level.” 

The governor continued to argue that New York and other Democratic states pay more in taxes to the federal government than do red states, and that in proportion, Democratic states get less money back. 

He said regular Americans are not as politically divided. He cites the example of tens of thousands of health care professionals from across the country who volunteered to come to New York to help care for COVID-19 patients.

Cuomo, who on Tuesday said the State Fair might not be held this year, also cast doubt on the reopening of another New York summer tradition.

He said the Saratoga race track might not be able to open, saying it would be difficult to practice social distancing, and could only happen if neighboring states also decide to allow large gatherings.

Copyright 2020 WXXI News