New York governor reports deadliest day yet from coronavirus

New York’s death toll from COVID-19 climbed to 2,935 on Friday, up from 2,373 the day before — the “highest single increase in the number of deaths since we started,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. 

There have now been more than 102,000 confirmed cases statewide and 14,810 people are currently hospitalized in New York, the U.S. epicenter of the global outbreak. More than half of cases in the state are in New York City. 

Cuomo said he is concerned about an increase in hospitalizations and cases on Long Island, which stretches east from New York City.

“Long Island does not have as elaborate a health care system as New York City,” he said. “We don’t have the same amount of resources on Long Island.” 

“New York is in crisis. Help New York.”

The governor called for resources from the across the country to be deployed to the state, saying the only practical solution to the nationwide crisis as it continues to unfold is: “Focus on the emergency that is in front of you.”

“Focus on the emergency at the place and time that is in front of you and then redeploy to the next situation,” he said. 

Cuomo said that after the state hits its peak in cases, which is expected in the next 2-3 weeks, it then can redeploy “what we have – personnel, equipment – to whatever locality is next.”

“New York is in crisis. Help New York. And then pick up, decamp, and then go to the next place as this rolls across the country.”

“I do not see any operational, practical alternative to dealing with this going forward,” he said. 

“People are going to die in the near-term because they walk into a hospital and there’s no bed with a ventilator. Because there’s either no bed, or no staff, or no PPE, or no ventilator. That is what is going to happen. And I think this is the only way to avoid it.”

State to take ventilators from places that aren’t using them

Cuomo said the state still doesn’t have the ventilators and personal protective Equipment (PPE) it needs as cases mount. He said he will sign an executive that allows it to take ventilators and PPE from institutions that have them but aren’t using them.

“We’re going to have to redeploy ventilators from across the system,” he said. “In other words, there are hospitals that have ventilators. There are hospitals that have PPE equipment. There are private sector companies that have PPE equipment that they are not using that we are going to need to redeploy to the places and the hospitals where we need them.”

He said institutions will either get their ventilators back or be “reimbursed and paid” so they can buy new ones. 

“I’m not going to be in a position where people are dying and we have several hundred ventilators in our own state, somewhere else.”

“If they want to sue me for borrowing their excess ventilators to save lives, let them sue me,” he said.

He said the National Guard will pick up the ventilators across the state and deploy them where they’re needed.

A call for companies to make supplies 

Cuomo reiterated that the state will work with companies who can make needed supplies including masks, gowns and face shields. He said the state is willing to pay a premium.

“It is unbelievable to me that in New York state in the United States of America we can’t make these materials and that we are all shopping China to try to get these materials and, we’re all competing against each other,” he said. “These are not complex materials. And we will work with New York manufacturers, we’ll finance the transition necessary to make these materials.”

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