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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

Dave Lawler, author of World
24 mins ago - World

Biden opts for five-year extension of New START nuclear treaty with Russia

Putin at a military parade. Photo: Valya Egorshin/NurPhoto via Getty

President Biden will seek a five-year extension of the New START nuclear arms control pact with Russia before it expires on Feb. 5, senior officials told the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The 2010 treaty is the last remaining constraint on the arsenals of the world's two nuclear superpowers, limiting the number of deployed nuclear warheads and the bombers, missiles and submarines which can deliver them.

Updated 43 mins ago - Technology

Facebook refers Trump ban to independent Oversight Board for review

Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook's independent Oversight Board has accepted a referral from the platform to review its decision to indefinitely suspend former President Trump.

Why it matters: While Trump critics largely praised the company's decision to remove the then-president's account for potential incitement of violence, many world leaders and free speech advocates pushed back on the decision, arguing it sets a dangerous precedent for free speech moving forward.

Biden plans to keep Christopher Wray as FBI director

FBI Director Christopher Wray at a virtual DOJ news briefing on Oct. 28. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/pool/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden plans to keep Christopher Wray as director of the FBI and has "confidence in the job he is doing," White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed in a tweet Thursday.

The big picture: Wray, who was nominated by former President Trump in 2017 after he fired former FBI Director James Comey, came under heavy criticism from Trump and his allies over the past year.