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NY governor fears massive protests could worsen spread of COVID-19

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that while he supports protesters, he fears a lack of social distancing at rallies could set back progress

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By Laura French

NEW YORK — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press briefing Monday that he worries massive protests in the state, especially in New York City, could worsen the spread of COVID-19.

Cuomo said that he supports protesters demonstrating in response to the death of George Floyd, but fears mass gatherings and a lack of social distancing at protests will set the state and city back in their plans to reopen, according to News 12.

“Don’t snatch defeat from the jaws of victory,” Cuomo said during the briefing, asking how many “super spreaders” may have been among the crowds protesting.

The governor noted that New York City has been moving toward Phase I of its reopening plan for early June and that intubations and hospitalizations have been decreasing. He added that he stands with peaceful protesters and shares their outrage, but condemns the violence and criminal activity of rioters. He also criticized NYPD officers seen driving through crowds of demonstrators in videos on social media.

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