Gov. Andrew Cuomo debated with a reporter on Wednesday about protesters in New York upset about losing their jobs as a result of the shutdown during the coronavirus crisis.
During Cuomo’s press conference, one reporter asked him if there was a right to work for unemployed New Yorkers who were not getting their unemployment checks and needed money.
“You want to go to work, go take a job as an essential worker,” Cuomo said. “Do it tomorrow.”
Essential workers in New York include jobs in medical care, public infrastructure, public transportation, food supply, auto repair, and the media.
“There are people hiring. You can get a job as an essential worker, so now you can go to work and now you are an essential worker and now you won’t kill anyone,” Cuomo said.
The reporter said some of the protesters she spoke to were suffering the loss of their incomes for their families.
“These are regular people that aren’t getting a paycheck, some of them not getting their unemployment check,” she said.
Cuomo asserted their unemployment was not worse than spreading the coronavirus, which, he argued, meant death.
“The illness is death, what is worth than death?” he asked, adding, “Economic hardship, yes, very bad, not death.”
Cuomo argued New Yorkers had a responsibility to each other not to spread the virus.
“It’s not about me, it’s about we,” he said. “Think about it as if it was your family that was getting infected.”