HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WETM) — On Thursday, Congressmen Tom Reed held a press conference to address ‘phase 1’ of the Southern Tier reopening.
Congressmen Reed was joined by Assemblyman Chris Friend, Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, and Senator Tom O’Mara at the Ward Apparatus in Horseheads, N.Y.
One big topic that was discussed was the state not just facing a health crisis but an economic crisis.
“There should not be a one size fits all approach,” said Assemblyman Phil Palmesano. “We keep hearing the governor talk about coordinating with Connecticut and New Jersey, but what about our upstate areas and being able to coordinate? And the fact of the matter is our upstate rural communities. Finger Lakes and Southern Tier is not New York City.
Palmesano also added that rural communities should be able to reopen because of cases are not as high as the downstate-metropolitan area.
“Rural areas need to reopen since it’s not as badly hit,” said Assemblyman Friend.
During the press conference, Friend mentioned that Governor Andrew Cuomo needs to look at the bigger picture because the virus has no boundaries.
“We need to look at this in more as a much larger region and possibly we separate out the urban centers from the rural population,” said Assemblyman Friend. “And I think that we need to look at again, this thing is not opening up in these phases 1-2-3-4 and who fits in. because on the daily calls they never quite know which businesses are going to fall into each of those phases, when can they open up. We need to set a set of parameters that everybody can work under.”
Assemblyman Friend also bringing up that Guthrie Sayre campus in Pennsylvania helped give aid to our elderly residents before Governor Cuomo did.
“The State needs to do a better job giving guidance to regions who need help,” said Assemblyman Palmesano.
Congressman Reed said the Southern Tier region is working with others like the Finger Lakes and Western New York to fight against the spread.
“Friendships and relationships are being built between these regional areas that never existed before,” said Congressmen Reed. “That’s going to make us stronger for the long term.”
You can watch the press conference in its entirety below.