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Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press briefing Monday that in terms of New York's coronavirus outbreak, "the worst is over" if the state continues to be "smart" about adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Why it matters: New York has been the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, reporting 189,033 cases as of Monday afternoon — more than any country other than the U.S. But the state's rate of hospitalizations has flattened in recent days, indicating that it may have turned a corner in combating the outbreak.

What he's saying:

"The worst is over, if we continue to be smart going forward. Because, remember, we have the hand on that valve. If you turn that valve too fast, you will see that number jump right back. But, yes, I think you can say the worst is over. Because the worst here are people dying. That's the worst. The worst doesn't get any bad than this worst. And this worst is people die."
— Andrew Cuomo

The big picture: Cuomo stressed that despite New York's accomplishments in slowing the spread of the virus, the state won't be able to "flip a switch" and reopen the economy all at once — especially without a vaccine.

  • But Cuomo also revealed that he and other regional governors are meeting to discuss a coordinated reopening plan and that they will have an announcement on Monday afternoon.

Go deeper: U.S. coronavirus updates

Go deeper

8 hours ago - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and older

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

8 hours ago - World

France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia over submarine deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), and French ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."

Updated 8 hours ago - World

In reversal, Pentagon now says drone strike killed 10 Afghan civilians

Caskets for the dead are carried towards the gravesite as relatives and friends attend a mass funeral for members of a family that is said to have been killed in a U.S. drone airstrike, in Kabul on Aug. 30. Photo: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A U.S. drone strike launched on Aug. 29 killed 10 civilians in Afghanistan, including seven children, rather than the Islamic State extremists the Biden administration claimed it targeted, the Pentagon said Friday.

Why it matters: U.S. Central Command said at the time that officials "know" the drone strike "disrupted an imminent ISIS-K threat" to Kabul's airport, and that they were "confident we successfully hit the target."