Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that unemployed Americans who have run out of money due to the coronavirus pandemic should “go take a job as an essential worker,” while dismissing concerns that increased economic hardship could lead to more death.
“I understand the economic hardship. We all feel it,” Cuomo said. “The question is what do you do about it, and do you put public health at risk, and do you drive up the number of deaths for it, because you have no idea how to reopen now.”
The reporter continued to press Cuomo, asking if there is a “fundamental right to work” if the government can’t disperse unemployment funds in a timely manner, and a person has already run out of money. Cuomo responded by telling New Yorkers who find themselves in that positions to go get a job at a workplace he has deemed “essential” and allowed to remain open. (RELATED: Chris Cuomo Lectures Protesters To ‘Think About Others’ After Reportedly Declining To Self-Quarantine In The Hamptons)
In extended Q&A, Gov. Cuomo says he understands economic hardship of those out of a job, but warns recklessly returning to work could endanger others’ lives.
— ABC News (@ABC) April 22, 2020
“By the way—you want to go to work? Go take a job as an essential worker. Do it tomorrow,” the governor said.
When the reporter pointed out that most companies aren’t currently hiring, Cuomo fired back.
“There are people hiring,” Cuomo said. “You can get a job as an essential worker. So, now you can go to work, and you can be an essential worker, and you’re not going to kill anyone.”
New York is one of 43 states that has been placed under a stay at home order because of the virus. The shut down orders have forced businesses across the country to close, and led to tens of millions of unemployment claims in recent weeks.