New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) claims that he will bring back the state’s economy through concerts and performances from high-profile celebrities such as actor-comedians Amy Schumer and Chris Rock, and actor Hugh Jackman.
Governor Cuomo said that New York needs to transition its economy to “the post-COVID world” during his State of the State address on Tuesday, adding “almost no one has been hurt more by COVID than our artists,” and that part of his plan will be to “bring the arts back.”
“2021 will be a year of continued challenges, transformation, and change,” said Cuomo. “We will need to adjust to the new social and economic realities of the post COVID world. There is a real opportunity for the places and the people who best and most quickly adapt to the post COVID economy.”
“We must accelerate the return of the arts,” said Cuomo of his plans to bring back New York City’s economy. “Cities are, by definition, centers of energy, entertainment, theatre, and cuisine. Without that activity and attraction, cities lose much of their appeal.”
The governor added that during the pandemic, many people have figured out that “they can do business from anywhere,” which can lead to “a national urban crisis.”
“New York City is not New York without Broadway, and with Zoom, many people have learned they can do business from anywhere,” said Cuomo. “Compound the situation with growing crime and homelessness, and we have a national urban crisis. We must bring culture and arts back to life. Almost no one has been hurt more by COVID than our artists.”
In August, Cuomo revealed that he has begged wealthy New York City residents who fled during the coronavirus pandemic to return to the city.
“One thing is clear, we must act. We cannot wait until summer to turn the lights back on for the artists,” said Cuomo. “We will not let the curtain fall on their careers.”
Therefore, Cuomo says that he is launching the “New York Arts Revival, a public-private partnership to bring the arts back.”
“We will organize a series of pop up performances and arts events across the state,” said Cuomo. “More than 150 world class artists, including Amy Schumer, Chris Rock, Renée Fleming, Wynton Marsalis, and Hugh Jackman will participate.”
Last year, Cuomo featured two Hollywood actors, Rock and Rosie Perez, in one of his coronavirus pressers, even as he continued to face criticism for forcing the state’s nursing homes to take patients with COVID-19. In May, Cuomo signed an executive order that saw nursing homes and longterm care facilities in the state accept patients who tested positive for COVID-19, a move that critics say fueled coronavirus deaths in those facilities.
During his presser on Tuesday, the governor also said that in order to “reopen more businesses safely,” New York will rely heavily on rapid coronavirus testing sites around the state.
“We will work with the local real estate community to open additional rapid testing sites where people can receive the rapid test hours prior to patronizing a business or engaging in social activity,” said Cuomo. “We will open hundreds of these new pop up rapid testing sites statewide.”
“The reality is not all businesses will reopen and not all jobs are coming back as they were,” the governor said.