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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced at a press conference on Saturday that movie theaters in the state — but not in New York City — can reopen at 25% capacity starting October 23. Theaters have been closed since mid-March, when the state went into lockdown.

The limited reopening will only apply to counties that have an infection rate below 2% on a 14-day average and have no COVID-19 hot spots.

Those stipulations rule out several counties including, Rockland, Orange and Broome.

New Yorkers going to the movies for the first time in nearly seven months will be required to wear masks and social distance from other patrons. Only 50 people will be allowed per screen.

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Cuomo held his press conference as the U.S. faces a fall coronavirus surge that is seeing states nationwide report record numbers of new COVID-19 cases.

"The fall, you're going to see an increased viral transmission rate. Fact," the governor said, echoing warnings from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert. Fauci told "CBS Evening News" anchor and managing editor Norah O'Donnell this week that the United States needs to redouble its efforts to contain the coronavirus as we enter the fall and winter months.

"What we really have to do is double down" on preventive measures like social distancing and wearing masks, Fauci said.  

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Cuomo said Saturday that New York is implementing a "micro-cluster strategy" to combat the seasonal surge. He said a wealth of data from about 12 million total tests will now allow it to analyze clusters "block by block."

"If there's a cluster it means there wasn't compliance," he said Saturday. "The only answer to a lack of compliance is enforcement."

Earlier this month, Cuomo reimposed virus restrictions on schools, businesses and houses of worship in and around areas seeing a spike in cases.   

News Source: CBS News

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Trump Mocks Dr. Fauci at Debate, Blasts His Coronavirus Predictions: I Think Hes a Democrat

At the final 2020 Presidential Debate in Nashville, President Donald Trump attacked Dr. Anthony Fauci while defending his coronavirus leadership.

Moderator and NBC reporter Kristen Welker asked Trump about who he’s getting his coronavirus advice from while invoking the campaign call during which the president called Fauci and other health experts “idiots.”

“If you’re not listening to them, who are you listening to?” Welker asked.

“I’m listening to all of them including Anthony. I get along very well with Anthony,” Trump said. “But he did say don’t wear masks. He did say, as you know, this is not going to be a problem.”

Trump was taking Fauci out of context though it is hardly for the first time. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director has already explained that he advised against the public wearing masks at the start of the pandemic because health care workers were facing PPE shortages at the time, he wanted to make sure they had enough medical masks, and a growing supply of viable cloth masks caused him to change his guidance.

Trump did not acknowledge any of this, however, saying “I think [Fauci’s] a Democrat. But that’s okay.” He then claimed “I’m not knocking him” after calling Fauci an “idiot,” then argued “nobody knew what this thing was. Nobody knew where it was coming from, what it was.”

After Trump concluded with “he’s allowed to make mistakes, he happens to be a good person,” former Vice President Joe Biden ripped Trump over his tapped admission to Bob Woodward that he was downplaying the virus’ deadliness.

“Americans don’t panic. He panicked,” Biden said.

Watch above, via CNN.

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