Cuomo mulls over reopening NY amid coronavirus outbreak, asks: 'How much is a human life worth?'

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday the decision to reopen the state is the difference between losing more lives or suffering continued economic losses but argued he won't let politics pressure him to move too quickly in the most devastated state in the country due to coronavirus.

“How much is a human life worth?” Cuomo asked at his daily news briefing. “That’s the real discussion that no one is admitting openly or freely. But we should.”

Other states across the country have started to lift restrictions to allow workers to slowly get back to their jobs, and restaurants and other businesses to open with some limitations or precautions.

CUOMO INDICATES NEW YORK CAN START TO REOPEN AS PLANNED AFTER MAY 15 LOCKDOWN DEADLINE

But in a state that has suffered 25,073 deaths and is still dealing with at least 321,192 positive cases of COVID-19, Cuomo has insisted that until the death and hospitalization rates significantly and steadily decline and the state is able to beef up testing and contact tracing, he is unwilling to risk a resurgence of the virus.

“The faster we reopen, the lower the economic cost -- but the higher the human cost, because the more lives lost,” he said. “That, my friends, is the decision we are really making."

Cuomo has maintained that the coronavirus lockdown orders will remain in effect until at least May 15, although certain areas that have met the majority of the governor's criteria for reopening could see eases soon.

The five regions of the state that are getting closer to becoming eligible to open under the criteria are central New York, the Finger Lakes, the Mohawk Valley, the North Country and the Southern Tier regions.

Cuomo said there were 230 new deaths in the state on Tuesday, slightly up from the previous day -- but far lower than the daily peak of 799 almost a month ago on April 8.

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New York’s hospitalization rates continue to drop with 659 new admissions reported Monday, the lowest number since March. There were 9,600 patients hospitalized overall.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.