Cuomo Urges Caution on Children and COVID Risk

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Reuters/ Mike Segar

With no easy answer on the safety of schools and camps for children as cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children related to COVID-19 appear on the rise, Governor Andrew Cuomo is advising families to keep their children isolated.

State Budget Director Robert Mujica said New York is reevaluating the current coronavirus guidelines toward daycares and summer camps in light of the new threat that seems to have doubled internationally in the past few weeks, according to Cuomo.

“This inflammatory syndrome is more frightening in some ways than the COVID respiratory illness because it inflames the heart,” the governor said. “We know it exists, we don’t know how widespread it is; the more we look the more we find it. Until we have this answer on the pediatric syndrome, as a parent, until I know how widespread this is, I would not send my children to day camp.”

With the prospect of aid coming to the state from a follow-up federal government stimulus measure up in the air, Cuomo said education and hospitals were at the highest risk should the current state budget shortfalls not be covered.

Cuomo voiced enthusiasm about the statistics coming out of hospitals, noting that new COVID-19 cases are down to 246. Still, 105 New Yorkers statewide died on May 20.

But as the overall COVID-19 metrics continue to improve, Cuomo said officials are considering the legal ability to question newcomers to the state regarding their exposure history to the illness, but more or less acknowledged that this is a federal obligation and could be an overstep on the part of New York State. The governor did, however, reiterate his disappointment in federal officials’ acquiescence to up to three million travelers from affected countries in Europe entering the US between January and March before the shutdowns finally began. At the same time, he admitted he was indulging in  but “Monday morning quarterbacking” in raising the question.

“Who knew the virus left China, who knew the virus went to Europe, who knew the virus was already here January, February, March? It’s above my pay grade as a governor of one state… Somebody has to answer that question,” Cuomo said.

This story was first published at amny.com. To sign up for the Gay City News email newsletter, visit gaycitynews.com/newsletter.

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