COVID-19 Will Touch Every Community In The Nation, Gov. Cuomo Says


Governor Andrew Cuomo followed on his calls for interstate aid amid the coronavirus crisis in New York, saying his administration will remember which states sent help.

By Thursday morning, the novel coronavirus had infected more than 92,000 New Yorkers; the respiratory disease it causes, COVID-19, was blamed for at least 2,370 deaths statewide.

With close to 14,000 New Yorkers hospitalized with COVID-19 and nearly 3,400 in intensive care, Cuomo pleaded with other U.S. states to send personnel and life-saving medical supplies to reinforce his state's dwindling resources.

He warned that what is happening in New York is still only the beginning of the outbreak in America and that New York will return the favor "when your community needs help."

"I will be the first one in my car to go wherever this nation needs help," he said. "I will never forget how people across this country came to the aid of New York when it needed it."

The federal government has sent the National Guard, FEMA and the USNS Comfort hospital ship to help in New York City.

Officials in NYC have converted the Javits convention center and the Billie Jean King Tennis Center into hospitals. They have built a COVID-19 field hospital on Central Park's East Meadow Lawn and they are looking for additional sites to house patients.

Cuomo has public and private state hospitals cooperating on an unprecedented level, sharing inventory and in some cases transferring patients when it is necessary.

The state has as many as 85,000 volunteers bolstering its medical forces, but more help is needed.

The biggest concern remains supplies, namely personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks, gloves and gowns and life-saving ventilators.

"If a person comes in and needs a ventilator and you don't have a ventilator, the person dies," Cuomo said.

Officials have a record of all the ventilators in the state. Current projections suggest the New York has enough of the machines for six more days.

But with the infection rate expected to hit its peak by late-April, the state needs more.

Cuomo renewed his calls for private industries to consider whether they can produce PPE. He says the state will pay for necessary conversions to manufacturing facilities and pay a premium for the product.

He promised business owners that if they want to use their facilities to help, "there will be no bureaucracy, no red tape, and we'll finance the transition."

Cuomo has also been encouraged by developments in rapid results coronavirus testing. Some facilities on Long Island are using a product that can deliver results in as little as five minutes.

The governor said that if the tests work as well as advertised, and if the country can get enough of them, people might be able to go back to work sooner than later.

Regarding the pandemic's bigger picture, he added that the western world is in the "cruelest situation" having to depend almost entirely on China for PPE and other life-preserving, life-saving products. He said that United States needs to invest in its medical infrastructure in the future.

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