New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo welcomed some special guests to his daily press briefing on Thursday, joking that he’s “not cool enough” to make people heed his safety advice

By Maria Pasquini
May 28, 2020 03:04 PM
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Chris Rock and Rosie Perez
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty (2)

Chris Rock and Rosie Perez are teaming up to help deliver an important message about keeping New Yorkers safe.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo welcomed some special guests to his daily press briefing on Thursday, joking that he’s “not cool enough” to make people heed his advice about the importance of getting tested for the novel coronavirus and wearing a mask in public.

“So I’m going to bring in reinforcements to help us communicate that message,” he said, before introducing the two stars, both of whom grew up in Brooklyn, to help him out.

Walking out wearing gloves and masks, both stars removed their protective facial coverings before addressing the state.

“It’s an honor and it’s really good to be here,” the Do the Right Thing actress, 55, said. ”Im proud to be partnering with the governor to make sure that my hometown ... my beloved borough Brooklyn and all of New York’s most impacted communities have the resources they need to stop the spread of the virus.”

“In Brooklyn, there’s a saying, ‘Spread love the Brooklyn way,’ ” she continued. “Spreading love the Brooklyn way means respecting your neighbors, respecting your communities and the way you can do that is by getting tested, wearing a mask.”

Perez went on to explain that this kind of mutual respect for each other’s health has nothing to do with politics.

“I don’t care who you voted for, I don’t care who you’re going to vote for, all I care is that we get out of this pandemic as quickly as possible and as safely as possible,” she continued, later adding in a message partially delivered in Spanish: “The numbers in our community are staggering. This is not a joke, this is not a hoax. This is real.”

Noting that it had been some time since he’d last gotten a chance to speak to a crowd, Rock began by flexing his comedic muscles.

“I got the test today, I just got tested to come out here, I got a 65 so ... just passed” he joked. “I know it’s been hard, but we’re going to get back together at some point and it’s gonna be even better than the last time.”

The actor and comedian, 55, went on to encourage people to get tested — and “make it a festive occasion.”

“They need to posse up and get tested. Like the crew is getting tested and the family should get tested,” he said. “Everybody that can get tested should get tested as soon as possible.”

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Rock went on to explain how important it is to continue practicing social distancing in order to avoid spikes in new coronavirus cases and deaths, especially as states continue the process of reopening.

“It’s like when the doctor prescribes antibiotics, he says take the whole prescription and if you stop whatever you came in there is going to come back worse,” he said. “So social distancing is what was the prescription and we need to take the whole dose or else it’s going to get worse.”

Although there have been more than 29,000 deaths in New York since the health crisis began, recently the state's mortality rate has continued to decline. On Tuesday, Gov. Cuomo reported that 73 in the state had died within the past 24 hours, which marked the lowest daily toll since March.

There have now been over 100,000 deaths in the United States, the highest death toll of any nation in the world.

During Thursday’s press briefing, Gov. Cuomo also announced that he was signing a new executive order, which permits businesses to deny entry to individuals who are not wearing masks.

“Not wearing a mask is not ok. And that has to be the culture and that has to be the attitude,” he said. “You don’t have a right to jeopardize my health. It is as Rosie said, it’s respect.”

“It’s civic duty, it’s humanity, it’s New York,” he continued.

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