Rosie Perez and Chris Rock Join Andrew Cuomo to Tell New Yorkers Get Tested Wear a Mask’


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At his daily coronavirus press briefing, Governor Cuomo drew upon celebrity power to promote his “stay safe” message to New Yorkers.

To impress upon New Yorkers the necessity of following pandemic guidelines even as COVID-19 numbers start to decline in the state, New York governor Andrew Cuomo brought out the big guns on Thursday: actor Rosie Perez and comedian Chris Rock.
At his daily press conference, held on Thursday in Brooklyn, Cuomo was joined by Perez and Rock, both native New Yorkers, to repeat the message he has been promoting since the beginning of the pandemic. Speaking directly to her home borough (and the setting for her career-making film role in Spike Lee’s
Do the Right Thing
), Perez said, “Spread love the Brooklyn way: Get tested and wear a mask.” (She later repeated the message in Spanish.)
When it came time for Rock to speak from the socially distanced dais, he began by glancing down at his microphone and saying, almost longingly, “We haven’t been able to perform or do any shows. So I’m looking at this microphone and thinking, Wow. Can I just say, hi, microphone, I’ve missed you,” adding, “I will never take you for granted again.” Then he repeated the message from Perez—“people need to get tested”—while adding a new spin on the procedure, saying “make it a festive occasion. People need to posse up, like, all the crew is getting tested.”
As for face masks, Rock estimated that about 40% of the people he sees in his Brooklyn neighborhood are not wearing a mask. “It’s sad,” he said, “that it’s a status symbol almost to not wear a mask.” As for people who don’t wear masks out in public, Rock said, “I give them a nice side-eye.”
Chris Rock said he had been tested just before joining the press briefing. “I got a 65,” he joked,
Added Perez: “I see hipsters and yuppies walking around without a mask.

What is it, arrogance? Do you think you’re not going to be affected? Okay, fine, but you’re affecting me too. That I really do not understand.”
Rock—who will join Perez in a PSA aimed at young people, urging them to get tested and wear a mask—said he had become a regular viewer of Cuomo’s daily briefings. “You bring me calm,” Rock said to Cuomo. “You bring me joy every day.” Perez then added her own praise: “Our governor is a rock star. He makes me proud to be from New York.”
“I see hipsters and yuppies walking around without a mask,” said Perez. “What is it, arrogance?
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In addition to welcoming Rock and Perez to the briefing (both were tested for COVID-19 before joining the dais—“I got a 65,” joked Rock), Cuomo declared that New York City has not met the thresholds needed to begin the first phase of reopening. This comes even as regions of upstate are moving toward the second phase of loosening lockdown provisions that have been in place for more than two months.
Cuomo also said he will sign an executive order Thursday allowing private businesses to “deny entrance to people who do not wear a mask or a face covering.” Adding that the masks are “amazingly effective,” Cuomo said that store owners have a right to protect both employees and patrons. “You don’t want to wear a mask, fine,” Cuomo said. “But you don’t have a right to then go into that store if that store owner doesn’t want you to.”
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