UPDATED with video New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo expressed skepticism about Broadway’s just-announced June 7 reopening date. “I wouldn’t use what Broadway thinks as a barometer of anything unless they’re in the public health business and have seen better numbers and models,” Cuomo said at his daily COVID-19 briefing.
Asked by a reporter if he thought Broadway’s June 7 targeted reopening could serve as a “rule of thumb” for other mass gatherings in New York, Cuomo offered and quick and flat “No.”
“No, I wouldn’t use what they think. I wouldn’t use what Broadway thinks as a barometer of anything unless they’re in the public health business and have seen better numbers and models.” Continuing on about projections and model in general, Cuomo said, “I think all of these projections basically turned out to be wrong. This is a very hard thing to model because you’re modeling public behavior and what people will do.”
Cuomo said that decisions about reopening New York’s businesses will depend entirely on COVID-19 infection rates and protection of the vulnerable, followed by determinations of how, exactly, the city reopens.
“It’s not just about Broadway theaters,” Cuomo said., “Before you go to Broadway theaters people will say ‘When can I go back to work? When can I go back to school? When are other essential service going to reopen? Before they go to a play, there’s going to be a lot of other questions that they’re going to ask.”
Cuomo said the answer to questions about reopening will “be a function of numbers” – infection rates low enough to be considered safe – on a regional, rather than citywide, basis.
Earlier today, The Broadway League, after consulting with theatrical unions, extended Broadway’s previously announced four-week shutdown by nearly two months, from April 13 through June 7. Broadway insiders say that date is, essentially, a temporary target, with additional shutdown extensions possible, even probable, throughout the summer.
Watch the video of Cuomo’s press briefing above; the Broadway comments begin at the 45:45 mark.