Cuomo Gives Most Dire Update Yet on New York

New York governor blasts FEMA over number of ventilators
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2020 12:10 PM CDT
Angry Cuomo Issues Grim Challenge to FEMA
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference against a backdrop of medical supplies at the Jacob Javits Center Tuesday.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo cast the state's coronavirus crisis in grim terms Tuesday with an angry directive to FEMA: "You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die." As CNN explains, Cuomo was blasting the Federal Emergency Management Agency for sending only 400 ventilators. "What are we going to do with 400 ventilators when we need 30,000?" he asked, per NBC New York. (Note: It appears he miscalculated and may have meant 29,600.) It was just one part of what was Cuomo's most dire assessment yet of the virus' spread:

  • Cases in New York rose to 25,665 Tuesday, more than half of them in New York City, and the death toll climbed to 189. Those are state figures. Johns Hopkins University puts the numbers at 26,000 and 210, per the AP.

  • Cuomo initially thought the peak would hit in early May, but now he thinks it's maybe two weeks away. "The apex is higher than we thought and the apex is sooner than we thought," he said, adding that infection rates were doubling every three days. "We're not slowing it—and it is accelerating on its own. We're not looking at a freight train. We're looking at a bullet train."
  • Initial projections were that the state would need 110,000 hospital beds at the peak of the crisis. Now the estimate is 140,000, more than twice the current capacity. Worse, the state may need 40,000 ICU beds, 37,000 more than currently exist.
(Read more coronavirus stories.)

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