Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: New York Governor Cuomo

Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo: In Time of Crisis, ‘You See the Best of Humanity’

(STL.News) – Governor Reads Letter from Kansas Farmer Who Donated One of His Few Masks to a New York Doctor

Governor Cuomo: “A farmer in northeast Kansas.  His wife has one lung and diabetes.  He has five masks.  He sends one mask to New York for a doctor or nurse, keeps four masks.  You want to talk about a snapshot of humanity? You have five masks.  What do you do? You keep all five? Do you hide the five masks? Do you keep them for yourselves or others? No, you send one mask, one mask to New York to help a nurse or a doctor.  How beautiful is that? I mean how selfless is that? How giving is that?”

Cuomo: “It’s that love that courage that generosity of spirit that makes this country so beautiful.  And makes Americans so beautiful, and it’s that generosity of spirit, for me, makes up for all the ugliness that you see.  Take one mask, I’ll keep four.  God bless America.”

Earlier today, while delivering his daily briefing on New York’s response to COVID-19, Governor Cuomo read a letter from a Kansas farmer who donated one of his few masks to a New York doctor.

AUDIO of today’s remarks is available here.

PHOTOS will be available on the Governor’s Flickr page.

A rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks is available below:

My grandmother on my father’s side, Mary, was a beautiful woman but tough.  She was a tough lady.  She was New York tough, gone through the depression, early immigrant, worked hard all her life.  And she was a little roughhewn.  She was roughhewn.  I would say to her, “you know grandma, met this girl, met this guy, they’re really nice.” She would say “nice, how do you know they’re nice? It’s easy to be nice when everything is nice.”  I said grandma “what does that mean?” She said “you know when you know they’re nice? When things get hard.  That’s when you know if they’re nice.  And I never really got it.

But her point was it’s easy to be nice and kind and affable when everything is easy.  You really get to see people and get to see character when things get hard, and when the pressure is on is when you really get to see true colors of a person and see what they’re made of. It’s almost as if the pressure just forces their character and the weaknesses explode or the strengths explode and that’s what we’ve gone through.  This is been hard.  It’s put everyone under pressure and you’ve really seen what people are made of.  And you’ve really had a snapshot of what individuals are made of, and what we are made of as a collective.  And personally, I’ll tell you the truth.  Some people break your heart.  They just break your heart.  People who I thought would rise to the occasion.  People who I thought were strong, under pressure they just crumbled.  They just crumbled.

On the other hand, you see people who you didn’t expect anything from who just rise to the occasion, and you see the best and you see the worst.  You just see the best and the worst of humanity, just comes up to the surface on both ends.  It just, everything gets elevated, the strength in people and the weakness in people, the beauty in people and the ugliness in people – you see both.  For me, the beauty you see and the strength that you see compensates and balances for the weakness.  And I get inspired by the strength so I can tolerate the heartbreak of the weakness.

Here is a letter that I received that just sums it up.

Dear Mr. Cuomo, I seriously doubt that you will ever read this letter as I know you are busy beyond belief with a disaster that has befallen our country.  We are a nation in crisis, of that there is no doubt.  I’m a retired farmer hunkered down in northeast Kansas with my wife who has but one lung and occasional problems with her remaining lung.  She also has diabetes.  We are in our seventies now and frankly I am afraid for her.  Enclosed, find a solitary N95 masks, left over from my forming.  It has never been used.  If you could would you please give this mask to a nurse or doctor in your state.  I have kept four masks for my immediate family.  Please keep on doing what you do so well.  Which is to lead.  Sincerely, Dennis and Sharon.

A farmer in northeast Kansas.  His wife has one lung and diabetes.  He has five masks.  He sends one mask to New York for a doctor or nurse, keeps four masks.  You want to talk about a snapshot of humanity? You have five masks.  What do you do? You keep all five? Do you hide the five masks? Do you keep them for yourselves or others? No, you send one mask one mask to New York to help a nurse or a doctor.  How beautiful is that? I mean how selfless is that? How giving is that? You know that’s the nursing home in Niskayuna that sent one hundred ventilators down to New York City when they needed them.  It’s that love that courage that generosity of spirit that makes this country so beautiful.  And makes Americans so beautiful, and it’s that generosity of spirit, for me, makes up for all the ugliness that you see.  Take one mask, I’ll keep four. God bless America.

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