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tv   Gov. Cuomo Remarks at NGA Summer Meeting  CSPAN  July 10, 2021 10:48pm-11:06pm EDT

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pandemic. this is about 15 minutes. >> please join me in watching our year in review video honoring governor cuomo. >> i am very excited to be having this opportunity to pass this gavel onto you and i am looking forward to your leadership over the next year. it has been great working with you. i look forward to continue under your leadership. >> this next year will be challenging for sure. all battles are hard. ours could not have a more noble or righteous purpose.
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i am honored to be standing beside all of you as we lead this nation forward. >> in all of history, there had never been anything like it. all across america from new york to ohio to california to arkansas, states were besieged by a new deadly enemy. people were dying. hospitals were overrun. businesses closed. millions of americans lost their jobs. states faced budget deficits that were unimaginable in previous years. covid-19 changed everything for america's governors and our country. the national governors association was there and ready governors who were not there as democrats and republicans but as americans ready to meet a challenge, a challenge no other governors had ever faced before. >> there is tremendous
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possibility in the nation's recognition of the full potential of state governments. most of all, we are committed to achieving progress. that is the essence of our role as governors. >> despite an enemy powerful enough to bring death and destruction and even with regional differences, our governors led by chairman andrew cuomo and vice-chairman asa hutchinson achieved unprecedented results for the american people. first, the governors were instrumental in getting critically-needed ppe allocated, distributed, and used, especially in the early days of the pandemic. they help to guarantee this lifesaving ppe where it was needed, when it was needed. governors worked together in a bipartisan way to successfully secure trillions of dollars from the federal government through multiple relief packages including $500 billion in
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direct, flexible business support that went directly to each of the state, fulfilling the number one priority. this unprecedented and historic relief allowed states to fill the budget gaps caused by the pandemic. it helped to keep unemployed workers in their homes with food for their families and it enabled states to remain solid and kept first responders working and saving lives. states are now moving forward toward recovery. putting aside political differences, governors of both parties worked together with presidents of two administrations, so america would lead the way in creating lifesaving vaccines in record time and showing the rest of the world that hundreds of millions of vaccines could be administered quickly, efficiently, and effectively. ng
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back. businesses have reopened, people are returning to work and most importantly, we have vaccines that are safe, effective, and easy to get. with nearly 70% of americans now having at least one vaccination, infections are way down, and so our deaths. with constant munication and coordination among governors, america has reopened and the results can be seen everywhere. we have come back and together, we can be better than before. but despite all we have accomplished this past year, there is still much to do and so much to get done. we need to get more americans vaccinated, especially in underserved communities and among those who are vaccine-hesitant. we must continue to work to make sure the economic recovery continues and businesses thrive and workers have jobs.
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we must guarantee social and economic equality for all americans. we need to address america's crumbling infrastructure so we can compete in the global economy. and perhaps most of all, we need to overcome the friction and conflicts among ourselves. we must bring people of all races together, bring state of all regions together, and as difficult as it might seem, we must bring our leaders in washington together. our governors have shown it can be done. and they have proven that when it is done, the results work for all of us. now, as governor cuomo passes on the chairmanship to governor hutchinson, he knows the nga will continue to fight for every american. ladies and gentlemen, governors from all across america, please welcome governer andrew cuomo. gov. cuomo: thank you all very much and it is a pleasure to be with all of you. i formally called this annual
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meeting to order. looking at that brings back memories, many of them painful. i want to thank the team for a phenomenal job. nobody could have imagined what they would be called to do and they did it. governor hutchinson, thank you for the collegiality, thank you for the friendship, the partnership over this past year. i want to thank you governor hogan, is not with us right now, but governor hogan was the chairman when i was vice chairman and he started with the beginning of covid, with the preceding administration and governor hogan did a magnificent job, you really did. and in many ways, i followed his lead. and i want to congratulate governor phil murphy as being vice chairman. phil is my neighbor here, new
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york, new jersey, and i can tell you he's going to do an extraordinary job. and the entire executive committee who really pulled together, charlie baker and everyone else. i feel that all the words have been said. we have spoken to you more over the past few weeks than i have spoken to my family, but this is a transformational moment for the world. i don't think we go back to where we were, i think we are changed. i think we went through a trauma. the challenge is to make sure that we are better for the trauma. and transformational for governors, to be sure. when i was going to school, the students would always ask, what does a governor do? they knew what the mayor did. the mayor does police, the mayor does sanitation. they know what the president does, but what does a governor do?
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governors were sort of somewhere in the middle. and that would be a question from students. no students ask that question anymore. people know what governors do and how important governors are. the circumstances proper governors to the forefront of this nation. for better or worse. and these were difficult times. those early days were horrendous. no information, different information. no equipment. no masks, begging people for ppe, trying to work together to get planes to go to china to pick up ppe. it was just incredible. it was incredible. and it was remarkable, frankly, how unaware, and in many ways, unprepared this nation was. going through the tests and
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trying to find the tests and competing for test and setting it up. and all the decisions we had to make were difficult decisions. and as elected officials, as people who participate in the political process, these were hard decisions because they were all controversial. they were also consequential. because they were probably the most consequential decisions that governors had made in generations. they were literally about life and death. you make the wrong decision, people could die. but at the same time, that's why we are here, right? we all ran for these positions because we wanted to make a difference. i don't know that we appreciated how much of a difference we would wind up making. but governors have a new creditability, that is a fact, and i'm proud to say that i think we used it well.
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the governors input led to an agenda for and legislation for this nation that mainly followed our advocacy, our voice in washington was louder than ever before. i think it was informed, i think it was strong, but no doubt it was powerful. you look at all the legislation we got past, the cares act, the funding it, and the discretion in how the legislation was written. i believe we maximized the moment, as governors. and we maximized it by being unified. we talk about bipartisan efforts, and we are a bipartisan group, we work together. it is partially the function of our position. you have to get things done. we don't have the luxury of going out and arguing in abstracts and arguing in ideals and blaming anyone else. as governors, there's no one to
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blame. you can lament all you want about legislatures and politics, but the buck stops on our desk, and we get that. but it's not that bipartisan means the lowest common denominator. that's not what we did. we spoke truth to power. governor hogan spoke truth to power. he spoke the truth to his own party, even when it was hard. and i noticed that and i respected and, and i try my best to do the same thing. i raise the necessary issues, even when they were thorny and even when they were unpleasant, and even when they cause discomfort. because bipartisan doesn't mean avoiding reality.
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it doesn't mean compromise so you don't create any confrontation. sometimes there has to be confrontation to move forward. and i think the governors did that. i feel confident in saying we did the best work that we could do under the circumstances. the circumstances were impossible. but we did the best that we could do. and i'm proud of the effort that we led together, and i believe we saved lives, and i believe we brought this nation through its crisis in the best way that we could. two specifics to leave you with. one, this will happen again. it may not happen during our tenure, it may not be a delta variant, it may not be covid, but there will be another pandemic. let's learn that lesson.
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we had ebola, we had sica, we had mers, we had sars, we had dengue, and then we had covid. but let's make sure that when we leave our state, we leave it better prepared for a pandemic and with a better public health emergency response than we found it. yes, the federal government should be doing this. yes, the federal government should have stockpiles and have an early alert system and work with the world health organization to come up with a real global notification system. but we also learned that when it gets top, they look to the state. and let's make sure believe our state better prepared so this never happens again. and the second point is let's fight for this infrastructure bill. get the best infrastructure bill that we can. but let's get a bill done.
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and when that funding comes, let's make the projects happen. and let's show the american people the extension of how effective state governments can be and get that infrastructure funding and get it in the ground, and show accomplishments, and show the future post-covid, and show that government can work and it can work well. and a project can come in on time, and it can be done well. that government performance is not an oxymoron. in closing, i thank you. i think all of you. i thank you for all the conversations, i thank you for sharing all the stories, i thank you for the emotion. i thank you for the support. these were hard days for us to go through, and i found a lot of support in my colleague
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governors who, in essence, were in that same, unique position. very few people were going through what we went through, and we went through this together. and speaking for myself, it was a tremendous personal benefit. governors have a new credibility. governors have a new status. let us use it well, and let us use it to do well. thank you all very much. >> former president trump gave remarks on sunday, watch live or listen on the c-span radio app. ♪ >> weekends on c-span2 are in international -- intellectual feast. we explore our nation's past on
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