New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday said the “apex” for coronavirus spreading throughout his state could still be two to three weeks away, but sooner than he had formerly projected.
“The apex is higher than we thought and the apex is sooner than we thought,” Cuomo said at his daily press conference in New York City.
A week ago, the governor said the peak might still be 45 days or longer away.
But the Democratic governor said all efforts to stem the spread are not working as well as projected. “We’re not slowing it and it is accelerating on its own,” Cuomo said.
“New York is the canary in the coal mine. New York is going first. We have the highest and fastest rate of infection,” he said, adding that what’s occurring in New York will happen in California and other states soon.
Cuomo also said the rate of new infections in New York state is doubling about every three days. There are now more than 25,600 confirmed cases in New York and 212 deaths, the most of any state in the U.S. The governor said the state will need 140,000 hospital beds, 40,000 ICU beds and 30,000 ventilators as the virus spreads. Right now, there are 53,000 hospital beds and 3,000 ICU beds in the entire state.
“This is a critical and desperate need for ventilators,” he said, adding doctors are trying to figure out a way to use one ventilator split between two patients. “We don’t have any other options. There’s no other way for us to get these ventilators. We’ve tried everything else.”
The governor again bashed President Donald Trump, calling on him to exercise his executive power to put in place the Defense Protection Act to increase medical supply production and eliminate astronomical prices from gougers. He said the Federal Emergency Management Agency has informed him they’re sending the state 400 ventilators.
“Four hundred ventilators? I need 30,000 ventilators. You want a pat on the back for sending 400 ventilators?” Cuomo said.
Cuomo also ripped Trump for suggesting restrictions by governors to keep people in isolation.
“I understand what the president is saying that this is unsustainable that we close down the economy and we continue to spend money. There is no doubt about that,” Cuomo said. “But if you ask the American people to choose between public health and the economy then it’s no contest. No American is going to say accelerate the economy at the cost of human life. … You can do both but not in a clumsy, ham-handed way. ‘Well we’ll just sacrifice old people, they’re old people anyway and the old get left behind.’ What is this? Some modern Darwinian theory of natural selection? You can’t keep up so the band is going to leave you behind?”
Cuomo also said no one is “expendable.”
“My mother is not expendable and your mother is not expendable and our brothers and sisters are not expendable and we’re not going to accept a premise that human life is disposable and we’re not going to put a dollar figure on human life,” he said.