New York’s Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo snapped at a reporter on Wednesday who asked him about whether schools were going to be shut down as the coronavirus pandemic once again worsens in the state.
“I’m a little unclear about New York City schools,” the reporter said. “The other day you said this is the city’s decision, they have an agreement at 3%, today you said, well I might have to impose an orange zone and I might have to close the schools, which an orange zone does. So what’s going on?”
“Does the city still have the ability to close its schools? Are you now taking control in saying that you have the power to make this decision?” the reporter asked. “And for the millions of parents who want to know, are the schools going to open tomorrow in New York City?
“Alright, first of all, let’s try not to be obnoxious and offensive in your tone,” Cuomo responded. “Because you’re 100% wrong. These laws have all been in effect for months. I’ve always said, we set initial parameters and then the school district picks the percent within those parameters. New York City picked 3%. We announced the orange zone law over a month ago. I don’t know if you were here or if you were paying attention but that has been in effect for over a month. It always said, if by the state’s numbers, you hit 3%, the schools close.”
“If you were paying attention, you would have known we closed the schools in New York City two weeks ago,” Cuomo continued. “Remember when we did an orange zone and a red zone in Brooklyn and Queens and we closed the schools? Don’t you remember that?”
The reporter responded the school closures were actually three weeks ago.
“Okay, so what are you talking about?” Cuomo asked as he became visibly more agitated. “What are you talking about?”
“We are now going to override,” Cuomo said mocking the reporter’s question.
“We did it already!” Cuomo yelled. “That’s the law. An orange and a red zone. Follow the facts.”
When the reporter said that he was still confused, Cuomo again yelled, “Well then you’re confused!”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) mocks and argues with a reporter during a testy exchange about school openings. pic.twitter.com/POwVxX4NTl
— The Recount (@therecount) November 18, 2020
Cuomo then called on another reporter who also asked him if the schools were going to be open tomorrow.
“The schools are open by state law,” Cuomo snapped. When the reporter said he thought the other reporter’s question was not obnoxious, Cuomo responded, “Well, I don’t really care what you think. Of course, you agree with him because you’re in the same business with him.”
Gov. Cuomo just had a mental breakdown when a reporter simply asked a question about whether or not schools are open in NY tomorrow.
He literally started screaming at the reporter. pic.twitter.com/NBem5zpnK0
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) November 18, 2020
New York City officials later announced that they were closing down the entire school district starting tomorrow as the city grapples with another spike in coronavirus cases.
Chancellor Richard A. Carranza wrote in an email to principals: “As of this morning, November 18, the City has now reached this threshold of test positivity citywide and, as a result, the DOE will temporarily close down all public school buildings for in-person learning, Thursday, November 19.”
This article has been updated to include additional information.