'The illness is death!' Gov. Andrew Cuomo unloads on reporter who says stay-at-home order 'equals death'
Andrew Cuomo holds coronavirus press briefing (WFXV/screen grab)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Wednesday suggested that protesters who want to go back to work during the coronavirus pandemic should take jobs as essential workers.

During his daily coronavirus press conference, Cuomo seemed irritated when he was asked about people protesting against his stay-at-home order.

"These are regular people who are not getting a paycheck," a reporter explained. "And they're saying that they don't have time to wait for all of this testing and they need to get back to work in order to feed their families."

"Their point is, the cure can't be worse than the illness itself," she said. "What is your response to them?"

"The illness is death!" Cuomo exclaimed. "What is worse than death?"

"What if somebody commits suicide because they can't pay their bills?" the reporter pressed.

"But the illness may be my death as opposed to your death," Cuomo pointed out. "They said the cure is worse than the illness. The illness is death. How can the cure be worse than the illness if the illness is potential death?"

"What if the economy failing equals death?" the reporter wondered.

"But it doesn't," Cuomo replied. "It doesn't equal death. Economic hardship, yes, very bad, [but it's] not death. Emotional stress from being locked in a house, very bad. Not death. Domestic violence on the increase, very bad. Not death. And not death of someone else."

"Got your head around the 'we' concept," he continued. "Think about it as your family that my kid infected. And when you think about it as your family, you have a different perspective."

The reporter was undeterred.

"Is there a fundamental right to work?" she asked.

"You want to work? Go take a job as an essential worker," Cuomo remarked. "Do it tomorrow. Right? You're working. You're an essential worker."

"There are people hiring," he added. "You can get a job as an essential worker. So now you can go to work and you can be an essential worker and you're not going to kill anyone."

Watch the video below via WFXV.