ALBANY NY (WRGB) - When it comes to people wanting to go back to work Governor Andrew Cuomo said, those people don't have a right to go out and infect others.
CBS 6’s Anne McCloy took the protesters concerns straight to the governor at his daily news conference today and got their reaction to his remarks.
Anne: “These are regular people who are not getting a paycheck and they’re saying that they don’t have time to wait for all of this testing and they need to get back to work in order to feed their families. Their savings is running out, they don’t have another week, they’re not getting answers, so their point is the cure can’t be worse than the illness itself, what is you’re response to them?
Gov. Cuomo: The illness is death, what is worse than death?
Anne: Well what if someone commits suicide because they can’t pay their bills?
Governor Cuomo: The illness may be my death instead of your death. How can the cure be worse than the illness, if the illness is potential death?
Anne: But what if the economy failing is...
Cuomo: Worse than death?
Anne: Equals death, because of mental illness, the people stuck at home?
Gov Cuomo: No it doesn’t. It doesn’t equal death. Economic hardship yes, very bad. Not death.
After Anne’s exchange with the governor, she went to ask some of the protesters outside what they thought of the Governor's remarks. Mike Delgallo from Schenectady is out of work because his business is considered non-essential.
“My response to that is, if you’re afraid of being infected by something, then you have the right to quarantine yourself, but I don’t have the fear of getting infected so I have the right to leave my home to work, to not wear a mask and to live my life normally,” he said.
Anne also asked the governor about unemployment and the protesters claims they have a right to work.
Anne: They’re also saying if you can’t afford to pay me unemployment, or your system is not set-up
Governor Cuomo: You will be paid! You will be paid!
Anne: But they can’t wait for the money, they are out of money.
Gov. Cuomo: We are talking about a couple of days of lag and they will get the date of unemployment.
Anne: But is there a fundamental right to work if the government can’t get me the money when I need it. Is there a fundamental right to go to work?
Gov. Cuomo: Yeah, go take the job as an essential worker, do it tomorrow.
Protesters also had something to say about that.
“Where are we supposed to get a job when the entire state is shut down?,” said Deanna O’Hare.