The governor said the response to the coronavirus is not a question of states’ rights vs. federal interference, it is a national disaster emergency
With New York state not having enough ventilators, the governor said he would be signing an executive order allowing the state to take ventilators and PPE from hospitals that don’t need them right now and the items would be returned or reimbursed
There has been an increase in domestic violence reports of 15% to 20% since the economic shutdown began
Number of deaths in the state rose from 2,373 to 2,935
Westchester had 784 new cases bringing its total to 12,351
Total number of people tested is 260,520
With President Trump at a White House briefing yesterday taking the position that the federal government is just a backup for the states in the fight against COVID-19, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo today said that only a unified national effort will save the maximum number of lives that can be saved.
Cuomo said that the federal government should be coordinating a national effort in which the limited supplies of materials such as personal protective equipment for health care workers and ventilators for patients are deployed from one state to another where they are needed, when they are needed.
“If you look at the projected curves of when it’s going to hit Michigan, when it’s going to hit Illinois, when it’s going to hit Florida, you’ll see that there is a timing sequence to it,” Cuomo said. “What is the alternative to saying, ‘Let’s help each other. Let’s focus on each situation as it develops and let’s move our resources and personnel as it develops.’”
Cuomo compared what needs to be done now with what has been the technique in dealing with hurricanes and other natural disasters where utility companies, National Guard units and others engage in mutual aid.
“The federal government does not have enough material to sit there and say ‘Whatever you need I can get you. Don’t worry California, don’t worry Michigan, don’t worry New York, don’t worry Florida,’” Cuomo said. “New York is in crisis. Help New York then pick up the camp and go to the next place as this rolls across the country.”
Cuomo said this is not a philosophical issue of the federal government trampling on states’ rights; it is an operational issue of trying to save lives in a pandemic.
Cuomo announced that he has put the principle to practical use in New York state by signing an executive order allowing the state to take ventilators and personal protective equipment from hospitals that do not need them right now and move them to hospitals that need them for immediate use.
He said the state has already identified about 300 ventilators that are not in use and can be immediately moved from their home institutions to where they’re needed. Cuomo said that the state would not be “seizing” the supplies, but merely borrowing them with a pledge to return the gear when the crisis is over or pay for new replacement items.
Cuomo said that the National Guard will be used to transport ventilators around the state to get them where they’re needed.
Cuomo reported that there have been 2,935 deaths in New York state from COVID-19, a number only slightly lower than the 2,977 victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
There have been 260,520 tests for the virus administered in New York state with 40,713 of those tests taking place in Westchester County. In Rockland, there have been 10,108 tests. A total of 3,307 tests were completed in Dutchess and 6,866 tests were done in Orange County. Statistics for Putnam County have not regularly been reported by the governor during his news conferences, but the Business Journal has determined that Putnam had 252 cases.
Westchester now has 12,351 cases identified, about 12% of all the cases positively identified in the state, which totaled 57,159. Rockland County had 4,289 known cases, Orange had 2,397 and Dutchess had 809 cases. In New York City, the number of cases stood at 57,159.
The governor said the federal government has changed its policy and decided to allow COVID-19 patients to be admitted to the hospital facility that has been built at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan. He said COVID-19 patients would not be allowed on the hospital ship USNS Comfort because of concerns about sanitizing the ship once the epidemic has passed.
Cuomo again asked manufacturers to get in touch with the Empire State Development Corp. if they would be capable of producing needed medical supplies. The number is 212-803-3100 or go to Covid19supplies@esd.ny.gov.
Melissa DeRosa, Cuomo’s secretary, advised that state police had told her there has been an increase in domestic violence of 155 to 20% since the economic shutdown began. She reminded women that the state has a domestic violence hotline.
“It is 1-800-942-6906. That is our domestic violence hotline. Women should know that they don’t have to stay in those situations. We will help them relocate. We will help them find safe shelter. And if there is an issue where you are in immediate harm, call 911 immediately,” Derosa said.
Cuomo introduced a new state seal, which now includes the slogan, “E Pluribus Unim,” Latin for “out of one many.”
He also noted that the new state budget that was passed by the legislature last night includes, among other features: a domestic terrorism law; a law designed to stop vaping by children; a ban of the drug Fentanyl; campaign finance reform; continues phasing in a middle class tax cut; and an airport construction program. Cuomo also said that the budget provides for adjustments to expenses in accordance with whatever revenues the state receives because it essentially is broke at the moment, another effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.