Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with 10,841 additional cases, bringing the statewide total to 113,704 and the apex still a week or more away, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that 1,000 ventilators have been donated to New York by the Joseph and Clara Tsai Foundation. The Joseph and Clara Tsai Foundation and the Jack Ma Foundation have also donated one million surgical masks, one million KN95 masks and more than 100,000 pairs of goggles to the state. The Chinese government and Ambassador Huang Ping, Chinese Consul General, have facilitated these donations. The ventilators arrived at JFK Airport today.
The National Basketball Association is also contributing one million surgical masks for New York’s essential workers in collaboration with the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and China’s New York Consul General Huang Ping.
Additionally, Oregon Governor Kate Brown has offered to provide New York with 140 ventilators from Oregon’s stockpile.
Governor Cuomo will also issue an Executive Order allowing medical students that are slated to graduate to begin practicing immediately to help with the state’s surge health care force. To date, 85,000 health professionals, including 22,000 out-of-state individuals, have signed up to volunteer as part of the state’s surge healthcare force during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“This pandemic has been stressing our nation on every level and we are doing everything in our power to prepare for the fight that will come at the apex,” Governor Cuomo said.”Ventilators remain our greatest challenge, and we have received a generous donation of 1,000 ventilators from the Joseph and Clara Tsai Foundation and the Chinese government, as well as 140 ventilators from Oregon – and these ventilators will save lives. This is a painful, disorienting experience, but we will get through it together and we will all be the better for it.”
Governor Cuomo commented, “Anyway, it all comes back to China. New York has been shopping in China. We’re not really China experts, here. International relations is not what we do on a daily basis. I’ve been to China before when I was HUD secretary, I did a trade mission with China. So, I have a basic understanding, but we went to the Asia Society to help us navigate China. I asked the White House to help us navigate China. I spoke to the ambassador and we got really good news today. That the Chinese government is going to facilitate a donation of 1,000 ventilators that will come in to JFK today. I want to thank Joe Tsai and Clara Tsai and Jack Ma from Alibaba, and the Nets, but I’m not stating a preference, for their donation. That’s going to be very helpful and I want to thank Ambassador Huang very much for his help in making all of this happen because this is a big deal. It’s going to make a significant difference for us.”
About the state of Oregon’s contribution, he said, “The state of Oregon contacted us and is going to send 140 ventilators, which is, I tell you, just astonishing and unexpected. I want to thank Governor Brown, I want to thank all of the people in the state of Oregon for their thoughtfulness. Again, this was unsolicited. But the 140 ventilators will make a difference. I was thinking about it, on behalf of New York and what it means for our – first it was a kind gesture. I know Governor Brown and she is a kind person, but it’s also smart from the point of view of Oregon. Why? Because we’re all in the same battle and the battle is stopping the spread of the virus, right?
“Look at what they did in China. It was in the Wuhan province. First order of business was contain the virus in Wuhan. Why? Because you want to contain the enemy. That’s always the first step. Oregon, we’re dealing with it now, we don’t stop the spread in New York, it continues. And if you look at the projections, Oregon could have a significant problem towards May. Our problem is now. So it’s also smart from Oregon’s self-interest. They see the fire spreading. Stop the fire where it is before it gets to my home. That was the Wuhan province…
“The State of Oregon has lent us 140 ventilators. It was kind, it was smart, stop the virus here. It’s better for the state of Oregon, it’s better for the nation. Their curve comes after ours. We’ll return their 140 ventilators, and there’s never been a discussion, but frankly I know New Yorkers and I know New Yorkers’ generosity. We will turn it double fold, because that’s who we are and that’s what we believe. So, stop the fire in New York, kind, generous, also smart.”
On Wednesday, Governor Cuomo announced that New York-based Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is creating 500,000 test kits for the State at no charge amid a nationwide shortage of test kits and swabs. The first batch of test kits was delivered to the State on Monday and the State will receive an ongoing delivery of 25,000 kits per day. Additionally, Corning has donated 100,000 tubes and provided an additional 500,000 tubes to the State at reduced cost and expedited delivery, and Puritan has sold medical swabs to the State. As of Wednesday, the State has tested 220,880 individuals.
“In this war, we must plan forward for the next battle. Meaning, we have been behind from day one. This virus has been ahead of us from day one. You don’t win a war that way. The next battle is the apex. The next battle is on the top of the mountain. See that curve? You see a curve? I see a mountain. The next battle will happen at the top of that mountain. That’s where it is going to be joined. And that’s where the enemy either overwhelms our healthcare system, or we are able to handle the onslaught of the enemy at the top of that mountain. And that’s what we’re planning for every day.
“But I want to offer you a different perspective that I’m starting to think about and I think we all should start to think about.
“As a society, beyond just this immediate situation, we should start looking forward to understand how this experience is going to change us, or how it should change us, because this is going to be transformative. It is going to be transformative on a personal basis, on a social basis, on a systems basis. We’re never going to be the same again. We’re not going to forget what happened here.
“The fear that we have, the anxiety that we have, that’s not just going to go away. When do we get back to normal? I don’t think we get back to normal. I think we get back, or we get to a new normal. Right? Like we’re seeing in so many facets of society right now. So we will be at a different place.
“Our challenge is to make sure that transformation and that change is positive and not negative. Let’s make sure we’re taking the positive lesson and not the negative lesson…
“We also have to be smarter from what we went through. How do you make the economy more resilient? What happens when something like this happens again? And something like this will happen again. ‘Oh, no, this is a once in a lifetime, never again.’ Something like this will happen again. We’re seeing it in the environment. We’re seeing it with floods, we’re seeing it with hurricanes. Something like this will happen again. You can’t just turn off the economy like a light switch.
“How do governments work together? You can’t figure it out on the fly – what the federal government does, what the state government does, what the local governments do. Figure it out before. Learn the lessons from this. Telemedicine, and tele-education. We have closed the schools. Well why weren’t we ready with a tele-education system? Why weren’t we better with telemedicine? Why didn’t we have the capacity to have that’s lines on people coming in to give the same basic diagnosis and the same basic advice? Why don’t we have medical supplies made in this country? Why are we shopping in china for basic medical supplies? Why don’t we gear our medical research to these types of threats and challenges, which we know are on the horizon? We know these viruses are changing. We know they mutate. Why don’t we get ahead of it?
“You still have to run society. Let’s talk about first responder capacity. We now have first responders who are getting sick, and the workforce is dropping. That was inevitable, right? That was going to happen. What’s the backup to that situation? And let’s talk about societal stability, and engagement at times of crisis. You can’t just tell everyone, ‘go home and lock your doors and sit on your couch and order takeout,’ for the foreseeable future. That’s not who we are. It’s not even a mental health issue. It’s just, it’s a personal health issue. It’s how we relate to one another. We’re not built to be isolated for long periods of time and not have human contact. So how do we deal with that?
“And these are the types of questions that we have to start to think through. But not today. That is the next challenge, I believe. And that is what we’re going to have to think about soon. But for now, one crisis at a time, as they say. And we are planning to handle with the current crisis, preparing for the battle on the mount, which is what we are doing every day. And that’s what we are doing. And not only are we doing it, but we have to succeed at it. You know?
“Government process is very good at saying, ‘well, we’re trying. We’re working on this. We’re doing our best. We’re doing our best.’ Winston Churchill, “it is no use saying we’re doing our best. You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.” Tad harsh goes with that expression, which I think you could say, tad harsh. Handsome, but a tad harsh, but it’s true. And that’s what I say to my team every day. This is beyond best efforts. This is beyond, “I’m working very hard.” We have to get this done. We have succeed. We have to find a way. We have to make it happen, because too much is at stake.”
Finally, the Governor confirmed 10,841 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 113,704 confirmed cases in New York State. Of the 113,704 total individuals who tested positive for the virus, the geographic breakdown is as follows:
Demonstrating once again a clear contrast between the failed leadership of a clueless Donald Trump, who only knows how to politicize, attack and destroy, Vice President Joe Biden is calling for the US to lift sanctions on Iran, which is undergoing one of the deadliest COVID-19 outbreaks in the world. “America should lead. We should be the first to offer help to people who are hurting or in danger… To stop this pandemic effectively, every country on earth will need to work together.” Here is Biden’s statement: –Karen Rubin, news-photos-features.com.
In times of global crisis, America should lead. We should be the first to offer help to people who are hurting or in danger. That’s who we are. That’s who we’ve always been. And, in the midst of this deadly pandemic that respects no borders, the United States should take steps to offer what relief we can to those nations hardest hit by this virus — including Iran — even as we prioritize the health of the American people.
Iran is struggling to contain one of the deadliest COVID-19 outbreaks in the world. While the Iranian government has failed to respond effectively to this crisis, including lying and concealing the truth from its own people, and it continues to act provocatively in the region, the Iranian people are hurting desperately. It is bad enough that the Trump administration abandoned the Iran nuclear deal in favor of a “maximum pressure” strategy that has badly backfired, encouraging Iran to become even more aggressive and restart its nuclear program. It makes no sense, in a global health crisis, to compound that failure with cruelty by inhibiting access to needed humanitarian assistance. Whatever our profound differences with the Iranian government, we should support the Iranian people.
There are already humanitarian exceptions in place for sanctions, but in practice, most governments and organizations are too concerned about running afoul of U.S. sanctions to offer assistance. As a result, our sanctions are limiting Iran’s access to medical supplies and needed equipment. The Trump Administration should take immediate steps to address this problem and streamline channels for banking and public health assistance from other countries in response to the health emergency in Iran.
Specific steps should include: issuing broad licenses to pharmaceutical and medical device companies; creating a dedicated channel for international banks, transportation companies, insurers, and other service firms to help Iranians access life-saving medical treatment; issuing new sanctions guidance to these groups and international aid organizations to make it clear how they can immediately, directly, and legally respond to the tragedy in Iran, without fear of penalty; and, for entities already conducting enhanced due diligence, it should issue comfort letters to reassure them that they will not be subject to U.S. sanctions if they engage in humanitarian trade with Iran to support its COVID-19 response. The administration should also consider similar steps to ensure that U.S. sanctions do not inhibit live-saving medical assistance to other countries hard hit by the virus.
The administration’s offer of aid to Iran is insufficient if not backed by concrete steps to ensure the United States is not exacerbating this growing humanitarian crisis. Whatever our many, many disagreements with the Iranian government, it’s the right and the humane thing to do. And Iran also should make a humanitarian gesture and allow detained American citizens to return home.
To stop this pandemic effectively, every country on earth will need to work together. We must address COVID-19 outbreaks wherever they occur, because as long as this virus is spreading anywhere in the world, it is a danger to public health everywhere. Artificially limiting the flow of international humanitarian assistance to pursue a political point will not only allow the Iranian government to deflect responsibility for its own botched response, it will increase the threat this virus poses to the American people, now and in the future.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the formation of a new
hospital network Central Coordinating Team to facilitate a more coordinated and
strategic approach among the state’s healthcare system in combating the
The program could become a model for other states, indeed, a model for a national approach to providing necessary personnel and equipment to address coronavirus hotspots as they emerge around the country as Cuomo called for unity.
The coordinating team will help implement the statewide
public-private hospital plan, which the Governor announced yesterday,
to share information, supplies, staff and patients among hospitals across the
State. The team will be responsible for organizing upstate to downstate
staffing; assisting Elmhurst Hospital and other stressed hospitals; setting
patient thresholds for hospitals; organizing patient transfers to other
hospitals and the USNS Comfort; coordinating State-City stockpiles
and individual hospital stockpiles; and facilitating staffing recruitment.
The team will be led by the State Department of Health and
includes the Westchester, New York City and Long Island healthcare systems, the
Greater New York Hospital Association and the Healthcare Association of New
York State. The team will also work with FEMA and the federal government.
Governor Cuomo also announced the State is launching
an online portal that will help connect hospitals and healthcare fasciitis
across the state with the nearly 80,000 healthcare workers who have volunteered
to work on a temporary basis during the COVID-19 pandemic. The portal will
prioritize the deployment of workers to hospitals with the greatest need;
volunteers are expected to be deployed as early as this Thursday.
“As we continue to battle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we
have two missions – preparing our hospital system so it is not overwhelmed when
the apex of the curve hits and ensuring people stay home so they don’t get the
virus in the first place,” Governor Cuomo said. “We are
following the mathematical projections of the experts and preparing for the
main battle at the apex by procuring as much equipment as we can, increasing
our hospital capacity and supporting hospital staff. We met with the entire
state hospital system for the first time ever and established an unprecedented
new approach to work cooperatively as one unified, statewide healthcare
system to defeat this virus. This virus does not discriminate — no one is
immune to it — and people must continue to be cautious, think of others and not
leave their homes unless absolutely necessary.”
The governor soberly gave “the blunt truth of this situation”
saying: “Total number of people tested, 200,000. Population of 19 million,
is not going to give you a random sample, but it’s been helping us track down
on the positive cases. Number of positive cases, 9,298. Total cases 75,000
cases. You see the predominance in New York City, then Westchester, then
Nassau, then Suffolk, then Rockland. So you can see it’s that area of density.
It spreads out from that area of density. The march of coronavirus across the
State of New York continues. We’re down to just two counties that don’t have a
case. The overall numbers, 75,000 have tested positive. Ten thousand people in
our hospitals, 2,700 ICU patients. Good news, 4,900 – almost 5,000 –
discharged. That’s up 771. So people come in, they get treated, they go home.
“New York is at 75,000 cases. Next state is 16,000. California is
at 7,000. So you can see New York, there’s a magnitude of difference more than
any other state. Fifteen-hundred fifty deaths. That’s up from 1,218 yesterday.
Again, we’re studying the charts. We’re trying to study the data, follow the
data. The data is uneven. It bounces. Numbers often bounce in any model. There
are variables in this model. The hospitals are reporting it, so what every
hospital reported, were they busy, are they combining a couple of days in one?
It’s an imperfect reporting mechanism.
“You see the basic line is still up. What the statisticians will
tell you is you basically draw the straight line that columns indicate and you
see that we’re still going up which is what we see on the overall trajectory,
that we’re still going up. Number of intubations was down, not much, but it was
down and that’s a good sign. You also see the number of discharges going up and
that’s consistent. The longer people are in, they either get treated and leave
or they get put on a ventilator and the longer you’re on a ventilator, the less
likelihood you will come off the ventilator. That is the blunt truth of this
With the realization that New York is still 14 to 30 days from
reaching the apex – that is, the peak of number of cases on a given day – after
which there would still be the descent before the crisis is ended, Cuomo said, “In
general, I am tired of being behind this virus. We’ve been behind this virus
from day one. The virus was in China. We knew it was in China. Unless we assume
there’s some immune system variation with Asian people, it was coming here and
we have been behind it from day one since it got here and we’ve been playing
catch-up. You don’t win playing catch-up. We have to get ahead of it. The
second rule is never underestimate your opponent, and we underestimated this
virus. It’s more powerful, it’s more dangerous than we expected, and the third
point is plan forward. Get ahead of it. Get ahead of it, fight the fight today,
yes, but anticipate the next battle and plan for the next battle.
“And the main battle is at the apex. We’re still going up the
mountain. The main battle is on the top of the mountain. That’s where the main
battle is going to be. The apex of the curve and then we come down the other
side of the mountain. We are planning now for the battle at the top of the
mountain. That’s what we are doing. Get a staffing plan ready now for the
battle at the top of the mountain. Equipment stockpile now – we’re gathering
equipment that we don’t need today because today is not the day of the battle.
The battle is when we hit the apex, depending on who you believe, 14 days to 30
days from today.
“And also we need a social acceptance of the time expectation.
We’re all anxious. We’re all tired, we’re all fatigued. It’s been all bad news
for a long time. Our whole lifestyle has been disrupted. Everybody knows wants
to know one thing, when is it over, nobody knows. Well, President said by
Easter; this one said by this – nobody knows. You can have a hypothesis, you
can have a projection, you can have an opinion but nobody knows, but I can say
this, it is not going to be soon. If our apex is 14 to 21 days, that’s our
apex. You then have to come down the other side of the mountain once you hit
the apex, so calibrate yourself and your expectations so you’re not
disappointed every morning you get up.”
Cuomo described the “balkanization” and “fragmentation” of the
state’s health care system – private hospital chains, public hospitals,
downstate and upstate, city and suburbs and rural communities, rich and needy
and now federal hospitals – and said that he was creating a network where
staff, supplies and patients would be allocated as needed.
“That has to be our mentality. We laid out a full plan on how to
do facility development, how to move people among hospitals so nobody gets
overloaded, shifting patients, shifting staff, shifting supplies. None of us
have enough supplies. Okay, then let’s pool our supplies and let’s put them out
for the people who need them. Just because one hospital happened to have found
a vendor from China who delivered 5 million masks, let’s share those masks.”
Getting ahead of the virus means gearing up for the projected apex
and stockpiling vital equipment like ventilators for the day when they will be
needed – a remark intended to blunt Trump’s veiled accusation that Cuomo was warehousing
4,000 ventilators while complaining that he needed 30,000.
And he continued to appeal for mass testing as critical to not
only determining who is sick, but who has the antibodies and therefore no
longer at risk.
The crisis ends, he said, “when we get a fast track test, an at
home test, 15-minute test, and people can find out when they can go back to
work because they’re negative. We’re working on additional testing. As I said,
the department of health has a new test, but that’s when this ends
“We’re also working on the new medications. We’re leading the
country in many of these developments. We have saliva testing. We’re working on
the antibody testing and plasma testing at the same time.”
Cuomo added, “We know what to do. We just have to do it. It is
individual discipline to stay at home. That’s what it
is, it’s discipline. No social distancing. It’s discipline. Well, I’m
bored. I know. I’m bored. It’s discipline. Making this healthcare system work,
that’s government skill, that’s government performance. That’s saying to that
healthcare system, I don’t care how it worked yesterday, I don’t care whose
turf this is, I don’t care whose ego is involved, I’m sorry, we have to find a
way to work, a better way. Time to say to that federal government and to FEMA
and HHS, you have to learn how to do your job, and you have to learn how to do
it quickly. Because time is not our friend. It’s about a social stamina. This
is not one week, two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, five weeks, six
weeks, okay? This is not going to be an Easter surprise. Understand that
and have the stamina to deal with it.
The coordination of the state’s health care system is but one step
in what Cuomo called for as “unity” – coordination and cooperation among
“Let’s help one another. New York needs help now. Yesterday I
asked for healthcare workers from across the country to come here because we
need help. We will pay you, and more importantly, we will return the favor.
This is going to be a rolling wave across the country. New York, then it’ll be
Detroit, then it’ll be New Orleans, then it will be California. If we were
smart as a nation, come help us in New York. Get the equipment. Get the
training. Get the experience. And then let’s all go help the next place, and
then the next place, and then the next place. That would be a smart national
way of doing this. And showing that unity. And, unity meaning, we’re not, I
know this is a political year, and everything is a political backdrop, and
Democrats want to criticize Republicans, Republicans want to criticize Democrats.
Not now. Not now. There are no red states, there are no blue states. The virus
doesn’t attack and kill red Americans or blue Americans. It attacks all
Americans. And keep that in mind, because there is, there is a unifying wisdom
The Governor confirmed 9,298 additional cases of novel
coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 75,795 confirmed cases in New York
State – among them, the governor’s own brother, Chris Cuomo, who anchors a news
program on CNN. Of the 75,795 total individuals who tested positive for the
virus, the geographic breakdown is as follows:
Directs State Nonessential Workforce to Work
from Home for Additional Two Weeks Through April 15th
New York’s Wadsworth Lab has Developed New,
Less Intrusive Test for COVID-19
Executive Order Also Allows Schools to Host
Day Care Free of Charge
Following Governor’s Call, Pharmacies Have
Agreed to Offer Free Home Delivery
Announces State, in Partnership with Assembly
Speaker Heastie, Senator Bailey, Assemblyman Benedetto and Borough President
Diaz Jr., is Launching a New Mobile Testing Site in the Bronx
Confirms 7,195 Additional Coronavirus Cases in
New York State – Bringing Statewide Total to 59,513; New Cases in 44 Counties
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
today announced all NYS on Pause functions will be extended for
the next two weeks. The Governor also directed the state nonessential workforce
to continue to work from home for an additional two weeks through April 15th.
The state will re-evaluate after this additional two-week period.
In-person workforce restrictions,
which have been implemented through various Executive Orders —202.3
(restaurants and bars, gyms, fitness centers, movie theaters and casinos);
202.4 (local government workforces, school districts; village elections); 202.5
(malls, public amusement facilities); 202.6 (all non-essential reduce 50%);
202.7 (barber shops, salons, other personal care); 202.8 (DMV); 202.10
(non-essential gatherings of any size); 202.11 (extension of school district
closure until April 15, 2020) — are also extended until April 15,
2020 to enable uniform extension and review of such restrictions, and any
such restrictions may be extended by future executive orders.
Governor Cuomo also announced that
New York State’s Wadsworth Lab has developed a new, less intrusive test for
COVID-19. The new test is done through a saliva sample and a self-administered
short nasal swab in the presence of a health care professional. Additionally,
health care professionals can self-administer the test without another health
care professional present. This new test will help conserve personal protective
equipment, or PPE, for healthcare workers, reduce potential exposure of the
virus to health care workers and will allow the state to continue to test as
many individuals as possible in New York amid the national shortage of the more
intrusive nasopharyngeal, or NP, swabs. Self-collection of nasal swabs has been
done before for other respiratory viruses such as flu and it has been shown to
be effective and safe, and collection of a saliva sample is simple and
non-invasive. This new testing will begin within a week.
The Governor also issued an executive order to allow schools
to host day care free of charge.
After speaking with the state’s major pharmacy chains, the
Governor announced that pharmacies have agreed to offer free home delivery to
help reduce long lines for prescriptions at their facilities.
“There is no state in the nation that is better
prepared or better mobilized to combat this virus than New York,” Governor
Cuomo said. “The number of cases is still going up towards the
apex, and the development of new, faster tests will be critical in flattening
this curve, getting people back to work and returning to normalcy. The state’s
Wadsworth lab has developed a new, less intrusive test that will allow us to
increase our testing capacity, as well as save valuable PPE for our healthcare
workers. We will get through this because we are New Yorkers – we are strong,
we have endurance and we have stability. We have a plan, we’re executing that
plan and we will manage any obstacle that we come across.”
Governor Cuomo also announced, in partnership with Assembly
Speaker Carl Heastie, Senator Jamaal Bailey, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto and
Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., that the State is launching a new mobile
testing site in Co-Op City, the largest public housing development (Mitchell
Lama) in the country. This new mobile testing site located at the Bay Plaza
Mall Parking Lot, AMC Cinema entrance in the Bronx will provide tests by
appointment only and will prioritize symptomatic individuals who had close
exposure to a positive COVID-19 case, health care workers and first responders
displaying symptoms, and those working in or having recently visited a nursing
home who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms. To get an appointment, New Yorkers can call
the Coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065.
Finally, the Governor confirmed 7,195 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 59,513 confirmed cases in New York State. Of the 59,513 total individuals who tested positive for the virus, the geographic breakdown is as follows:
Cuomo: “My last point is practice
humanity. We don’t talk about practicing humanity, but now if ever there is a
time to practice humanity the time is now. The time is now to show some
kindness, to show some compassion to people, show some gentility – even as a
Trump has played a pathetic game of catch-up to the actual task of getting Americans through the coronavirus pandemic as best as possible, with as few deaths and as little destruction to the economy and society as possible. While he has proved a mendacious inept clog, true leadership has been demonstrated by Governors, especially New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. His press availability today, in which he gave updates on his nonstop effort to increase hospital capacity and obtain necessary protective equipment and medical supplies in anticipation of a surge of patients, was heartening to New Yorkers. It was a speech that hearkened to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was Governor of New York before he was President, leading the nation through the Great Depression and later through World War II. This is a rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks:
Good morning. Happy Saturday.
Welcome to the weekend. I want to give you an update and briefing on where we
are today and then we’re going to go out and do some real work, get out of this
building before we get cabin fever. You know the people who are here today.
From my far right, Simonida Subotic who is in charge of managing
supplies which is a major function for us, Robert Mujica, Director of
Division of the Budget, Melissa DeRosa, Secretary to the Governor, the
great James Malatras who has been a tremendous help here.
Go through the facts, the numbers
are still increasing. We have been seeing that. That’s the line that we’re
tracking. This is all about the increase in the number of cases and managing
the increase in the number of cases to the capacity of our health care system.
What are we doing? We’re reducing the spread and the rate of the spread to
match the increase in the number of cases and increasing hospital capacity at
the same time – just how do our hospitals manage the rate of the
We’re trying to reduce the spread
to over a period of months. Over a period of months our healthcare system can
deal with the numbers. We have moved to zero non-essential workers. You can’t
go below zero so we’re doing everything we can there and we put out new rules
on personal conduct and what people should be doing and how they should be
behaving and where they should be.
Matilda’s Law which is for the
vulnerable population, senior citizens, people with compromised immune systems,
underlying illnesses – that was very specific. As I mentioned we named it for
my mother Matilda because I went through this with my own siblings. How do we
help mom? Where do we bring mom? There was a difference of opinion. The best
health professionals put together guidelines that not only help senior citizens
but also their families who are trying to deal with this. I know it was helpful
to my family and the question among siblings these laws and guidelines
answered. I don’t want to mention which sibling but it turns out that he was
The personal conduct rules and regulations are also very helpful. I want to thank Dr. Fauci who is really an extraordinary American and has given me great guidance and help and assistance in putting together these policies so I’d like to thank him and we’re doing those.
We’re working on every level. Every pistol is firing. Everything that can be done is being done. New Yorkers are lucky. We have a very experienced team that’s doing this. This is not their first rodeo. They’ve been through a number of emergencies on a number of levels.
Increasing hospital capacity – we want to get the capacity of 50,000 thousand up to a
minimum of 75,000. We told the hospitals we’re going to be ending elective
surgeries. We are now working with hospitals to reconfigure the space in the
hospital to get more beds and to find more staff to manage those beds. We’re
working on building new beds. We’re going to go out and review a number of
sites today. I’d like to give the final list to the federal government and the
Army Corps of Engineers today but we’re looking at Javits, SUNY Stony
Brook, SUNY Westbury, the Westchester Convention Center, and I’m going to go
out and take a look at those sites today or the ones I can get to. That would
give us a regional distribution and a real capacity if we can get them up
quickly enough and then increasing supplies which is one of the most critical
We are literally scouting the globe looking for medical
supplies. We’ve identified 2 million N-95
masks which are the high protection masks. We have apparel companies that are
converting to mask manufacturing companies in the State of New York in all
sorts of creative configurations and I want to thank them. I put out a plea
yesterday to ask them for help and we’ve been on the phone with all sorts of
companies who are really doing great work. We’re also exploring the State
of New York manufacturing masks ourselves.
We’re going to send 1 million N95 masks to New York City
today. That’s been a priority for New York
City and 1 million masks won’t get us through the crisis but it’ll make a
significant contribution to New York City’s mask issue and I want to thank
Mayor de Blasio for working in partnership. We’re sending 500,000 N95 masks to
Long Island. We’ve been working with County Executive Laura Curran and County
Executive Steve Bellone and I want to thank them.
We’re gathering ventilators. Ventilators are the most important piece of equipment and
the piece of equipment that is most scarce. We’re gathering them from all
different health facilities across the state and then we’re going to use those
in the most critical areas. We also identified 6,000 new ventilators that we
can actually purchase so that’s a big deal.
From the federal government’s
point of view I’ve spoken to the President a number of times. I spoke to the
Vice President a number of times. They’ve issued a federal disaster declaration
which is a technical act by the federal government but what it basically does
is it allows the federal emergency management agency called FEMA to step in and
assist financially. By that declaration FEMA
would pay 75 percent of the cost of a disaster. New York State would pay 25
percent of the cost. The federal government can waive the 25 percent of the
cost. I’m asking them to waive that 25 percent in this situation. I’ve
worked on many disasters, FEMA has waived the 25 percent. If there’s any
situation where FEMA should waive the 25 percent, this is the situation.
We’re also working with the federal government. We’re
requesting 4 field hospitals at 250 capacity each. That would give us 1000
field hospital beds. We’re going to
be looking at Javits as a location for those field hospitals.
We’re also requesting 4 Army Corps of Engineers temporary hospitals. Those are
the sites I mentioned earlier that I’m going to take a look at. The
SUNY Stonybrook, Westbury, Westchester Convention Center and
also Javits. Javits is so big that it can take the 4 field
hospitals and an Army Corps of Engineers temporary hospital. We’re also
requesting assistance with medical supplies which has been a very big
topic of conversation all across the country.
We’re also asking our
federal congressional delegation to fix a law that was passed on the
coronavirus federal aid because of a technical issue the way the bill was
written, New York State does not qualify for aid. That’s over $6
billion, that is a lot of money and we need the federal delegation to fix that
bill otherwise New York State gets nothing. New York State has more coronavirus
cases than any state in the United States of America. That we should not be
included in the bill, obviously makes no sense.
We’re also going to conduct immediately trials for the new
drug therapy which we have been discussing.
I spoke to Dr. Zucker about it. There is a theory that the drug treatment
could be helpful. We have people who are in serious condition and Dr.
Zucker feels comfortable, as well as a number of other health professionals,
that in a situation where a person is in dire circumstance, try what
you can. The FDA is going to accelerate to New York 10,000 doses. As
soon as we get those doses we will work with doctors, nurses and families on
using those drugs and seeing where we get.
I spoke to the President, he spoke
to this drug therapy in his press conference yesterday and I spoke to him
afterward. I said that New York would be interested and we have the most number
of cases and health professionals have all recommended to me that we try it, so
we’ll try it. We’re also
working on a number of other drug therapies, an anti-body
therapy, a possible vaccine. We have a company here
in New York called Regeneron that’s really showing some
promising results. I exempted them from the no work order, because they couldn’t possibly have a
really significant achievement for us. The new numbers, the more tests you
take, the more positives you find, and I give this caution because I think
people misinterpret the number of new cases. They take that number of new cases
as if it is reflective of the number of new cases, the spread. It is not. The
number of new cases is only reflective of the number of cases you are taking,
right. Where our goal is to find the positive cases, because if we find a
positive case we can isolate that person, and that stops the spread. So we’re
actually looking for positives. The more tests you take, the more positives you
We are taking more tests in New York than anyplace else.
We’re taking more tests per capita than China or South Korea. We’re also taking
more tests than any state in the United States of America. That is actually a great accomplishment. Because if you
remember back, two weeks, which seems like a lifetime now, the whole question
was coming up to scale on tests. How do we get the number of tests up and how
do we get it up quickly? I spoke to the president and the vice president and
said decentralize the testing, let the states do it. I have 200 labs. I can
mobilize quickly. Let us do the tests. They agreed. We’re doing more tests than
any state, so for example, we’ve done
45,000 tests. California has done 23,000, Washington has done 23,000, so
you see how many more tests we are doing. And again, I credit the team that’s
working here, because this is exactly what the mandate was. Perform as many
tests as quickly as you can, and that’s the drive-thrus we’ve put in
place, the hospital management, et cetera. So our numbers should be higher. And
Total number of positive cases now is up to 10,000,
number of new cases has increased by 3,000, let’s go back in case you can’t
read as fast as I can read. 6,000 New York City, 1,300 Westchester, 1,200 in
Nassau. You see the Westchester number
is slowing. We did a New Rochelle containment area. The numbers would suggest
that that has been helpful. So I feel good about that. You see Nassau
increasing, you see Suffolk increasing. So that’s just the wide spread increase
that we have been anticipating. But our hotspot of Westchester is now slowing,
and that’s very good news. New York City, it is the
most dense environment. This virus spreads in density, right. And
that’s what you’re seeing in New York City, obviously, has many more people
than any other specific location in the state. Number of counties are
increasing. You see the blue. I said to you early on that blue is going to take
over the whole state, just the way every state in the United States has now
been covered. Most impacted states, you look at the cases in New York is
10,000, Washington, California, 1,000 each. Does that mean that we have ten
times the number of cases as California or Washington? Or does that mean
we’re doing more tests than California or Washington? The truth is somewhere in
the middle, and nobody can tell you. Total number of people tested, we’re up to
45,000. Number of new tests. This is a rate that we watch. What is the rate of
hospitalization? Again, because this is all about hospital capacity, right, 1,500
out of 10,000, it’s roughly 15 percent of the cases. It’s been running about
14, 15. It’s gone as high as 20 percent, 21 percent. So actually 15 percent
rate of hospitalization is not a bad number. It’s actually down from where it
was. The more refined number is, of those who are hospitalized, how many
require the ventilators, because the ventilators are the piece of equipment
that is most scarce. That’s the next refinement of these numbers that we have
And again, the context on the
numbers is important. We’re talking 10,000 et cetera. You look at any world
health organization or the NIH, or what any of the other countries are saying.
You have to expect that at the end of
the day, 40 percent to 80 percent of the population is going to be infected. So
the only question is, how fast is the rate to that 40 percent, 80 percent,
and can you slow that rate so your hospital system can deal with it. That is
all we’re talking about here. If you look at the 40 to 80 percent, that means
between 7.8 million and 15 million New Yorkers will be affected at the end of
the day. We’re just trying to postpone the end of the day. Again,
perspective, Johns Hopkins, this is not a science fiction movie. You don’t have
to wait to the end of the movie to find out what happens. Johns Hopkins has
studied every case since it started, 284,000, 11,000 deaths, almost 90,000
recoveries, 183,000 still pending. Which tracks everything we know in the State
of New York. Our first case, first case, healthcare worker, 39-year-old female
who was in Iran. She went home, she never went to a hospital, she
recovered, she’s now negative. You get sick, you get
symptoms, you recover. That is true for the overwhelming number of
people. Again, context, people who died in the flu, from the flu, in 2018-2019:
34,000 Americans. 34,000, so when you hear these numbers of deaths, keep it in
perspective. 34,000 people died of the flu. Over 65, 74 percent of the people
were over 65. 25 percent were under 65. So, if you have an underlying illness,
you catch the flu, you can die. More likely if you have an underlying illness,
senior citizens, et cetera, but not necessarily. You have 25 percent under 65
years old die from the flu.
Also, in terms of context,
perspective. Don’t listen to rumors. I
mean, you have such wild rumors out there, and people call me with the craziest
theories. Just, I understand there’s anxiety and stress, but let’s remember
some basic context and facts. Society
functions. Everything works. There’s going to be food in the grocery stores.
There’s no reason to buy a hundred rolls of toilet paper. There really isn’t.
And by the way, where do you even put a hundred rolls of toilet paper? The transportation system functions. The
pharmacy system functions. These things are all going to work. Nonessential
workers, stay home, but the essential workers are staying home, especially the
healthcare workers. There is not going to be any roadblock when you wake up in
the morning that says you can’t leave this place, you can’t leave that place,
right? So if you have a real question, because you think there’s a real concern
from a credible source, contact my team. We have a special website: coronavirus.health.ny.gov, and ask the question
and you will get a real, truthful, factual response.
I have not hidden anything from the people of this state.
I have not tilted facts. Franklin Delano
Roosevelt, the American people deserve the truth, they can handle the truth,
give them the truth. When they don’t get the truth and if you don’t get the
facts, that’s when people should get anxious. If I think I’m being deceived or
there’s something you’re not telling me, or you’re shading the truth, now I’m
anxious. Everything I know, I’ve told you, and I will continue to tell you, and
these are facts, and you hear a rumor, and you want to check it out, go to that
website, these are people who work for me directly, and you will have the
truth. We do have an issue with
younger people who are not complying, and I’ve mentioned it before but it’s not
getting better. You know, you can have your own opinion. You cannot have your
own facts – you want to have an opinion, have an opinion, but you can’t have
your own facts. “Well young people don’t get this disease.” You are
wrong – that is not a fact. 18-49 years
old are 54 percent of the cases in New York State. 54 percent. 18-49 years old.
So you’re not Superman, and you’re not Superwoman, you can get this virus and
you can transfer the virus and you can wind up hurting someone who you love or
hurting someone wholly inadvertently. Social distancing works and you need
social distancing everywhere. There’s a significant amount of
non-compliance, especially in New York City, especially in the parks – I’m
going to go down there today, I want to see what situation is myself, but it
has to be stopped because you are endangering people and if it’s because of
misinformation, if it’s because of noncompliance, I don’t care frankly – this
is a public health issue and you cannot endanger other people’s health. You shouldn’t be endangering your own. But
you certainly have no right to endanger someone else’s.
This is my personal opinion, this is not a fact, you know to me it’s very important in
a situation like this, tell me the facts and then tell me your opinion – this
is my opinion. We talk about social
responsibility, especially young people talk about social responsibility and
they should – we pass a lot of legislation in this building, groundbreaking
legislation, national firsts, on economic rights, highest minimum wage in the
United States of America, human rights, first state to pass marriage equality,
which I believe was a human rights issue, we talk about environmental
responsibility and this state has the most aggressive environmental laws in the
United States of America and I am proud of it, but I also want people to think
about the social responsibility when it comes to public health. We haven’t
talked about it before, not really a field, it’s not really an issue, it’s not
really a hashtag, but social responsibility applies to public health just as it
applies to human rights, and economic rights and environmental rights – public
health, especially in a moment like this, is probably most critical.
So let’s think about that and
let’s act on that. In this crisis, think of yourselves, we are all first responders – your actions can either save or endanger
a life, so we are all first responders. What’s going to happen? We’re going
to get through this. We don’t know how long it’s going to take us to get
through this. Fact is we’re trying to
slow the spread of the virus to a number of months so the healthcare system can
deal with it, so therefore by definition it’s going to be a number of months.
I know people want to hear, “It’s only going to be a matter of weeks and
then it’s going to be fine.” I
don’t believe it’s going to be a matter of weeks. I believe it is going to be a
matter of months, but we are going to get through it, and how long and how well
it takes us to get through it is up to us. It depends on what we do – you
know when you’re sick and you say to the doctor, “Well how long until I
get better?” And the doctor says, “It depends on what you do. If
you follow the advice, you’ll get healthy faster, but it depends on what you
do.” This depends on what we do. China is now reporting no news cases.
Let’s assume that’s true – look at that trajectory, look at that turnaround,
look at what they did, we do have data we can follow. So how long is it going
to take? It depends on how smart and how we responsible are and how diligent we
are. You tell me the percentage of compliance and intelligence and discipline
on social disciplining et cetera? I’ll tell you how long it takes for us to get
Also something that people aren’t really talking about but I think we should start talking about – we talk about the economic consequences of this situation and they are going to be significant, and we are going to have to deal with it and New York will be right on top of it and as aggressive as we are witheverything else. But economic consequences come second – first, is dealing with this crisis. We talk about the economic consequences but we also need to talk about the social consequences. There is no Dow Jones index that we can watch on the screen that is measuring the social consequences and the social decline. But the stress, the anxiety, the emotions that are provoked by this crisis are truly significant, and people are struggling with the emotions as much as they are struggling with the economics. And this state wants to start to address that. I’m asking psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists who are willing to volunteer their time to contact the state and if this works out I would like to set up a voluntary network where people can go for mental health assistance where they can contact a professional to talk through how they are feeling about this. They are nervous, they are anxious, they are isolated. It can bring all sorts of emotions and feelings to the surface. When you are isolated you do not have people to talk to.
So I am asking the professional mental health establishment to contact us. Let us know that you are willing to volunteer time. It would obviously be all electronic. It would not be in person. It would be telephone, it would be Skype, etc. But I would ask you to seriously consider this. Many people are doing extraordinary things during this public health crisis. I ask the mental health community, many of them are looking for a way to participate, this is a way to participate. And if we get enough mental health professionals willing to volunteer their time, we will set up a mental health electronic help center. And we will talk more about that the next few days.
What happens besides how long?
What happens? The bigger question to me
is what do we learn about ourselves through this? As a society, we have
never gone through this. We have never gone through a world war. We have not
gone through any great social crisis. Here in New York, we went through 9/11
which I think is relevant in terms of some feelings that people are now
experiencing. 9/11 transformed society. I was there. I was part of it. You were
never the same after 9/11. You had a sense of vulnerability that you never had
before which I feel to this day. There was a trauma to 9/11. But as a society,
as a country, we have been blessed in that we have not gone through something
as disruptive as this.
So what do we learn about ourselves? I think what we are saying already is a crisis really
brings out the truth about ourselves first of all and about others. And your
see people’s strengths and you see people’s weaknesses. You see society’s
strengths and you see society’s weaknesses. You see both the beauty and
the vulnerability. You see the best in people and you see the worst in people.
You see people rise to the occasion and you see people fall from the burden of
the emotion. So, I think – You take a step back.
Governor Will Visit Sites – Jacob
K. Javits Convention Center, SUNY Stony
Brook, SUNY Old Westbury & Westchester Convention Center
Announces New Actions to Increase State’s
Supply of Personal Protective Equipment
Issues Executive Order Temporarily
Closing DMV In-Office Transactions; Online Transactions Still Available
Announces FEMA Granted New York’s Request
for Major Disaster Declaration
Asks New York’s Congressional Delegation
to Fix the Coronavirus Federal Aid Law that Currently Exempts New York from
Department of Health Commissioner
Recommends Trials for New Drug Therapy
New Yorkers Can Sign Up for Email
Updates Here and Ask
Questions About COVID-19 Here
New Yorkers Can Find More
Information About the New COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law Here
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the
recommendation of the Army Corps of Engineers regarding four initial sites in
New York State for locating temporary hospitals – the Jacob
K. Javits Convention Center, and locations at SUNY Stony
Brook, SUNY Old Westbury and the Westchester Convention Center. Over
the past days, an inspection team led by the Army Corps of Engineers, and
including state officials from the Office of General Services, the Dormitory
Authority of the State of New York, the Department of Health and the New York
State Division of Military and Naval Affairs, has visited more than a dozen
sites to review for temporary hospital use. Upon the Governor’s determination,
the Army Corps is expected to immediately begin work to construct the temporary
hospitals. The Governor is also requesting FEMA designate four field hospitals
with 250 beds each for the state, intended for use in
the Javits Center in addition to the temporary hospital to be
constructed by the Army Corps.
Governor Cuomo also announced that the state
is taking new actions to increase the supply of personal protective equipment –
or PPE. The state has identified two million N95 masks for purchase and will
send one million to New York City and 500,000 to Long Island. Apparel
manufacturers in the state are converting their operations to begin
manufacturing masks and other medical equipment, and the state is also
exploring manufacturing masks. Additionally, the state is gathering ventilators
from different health facilities from across the state to be used in the
most critical areas and has already purchased 6,000 additional ventilators.
The Governor also issued an executive order
temporary closing the Department of Motor Vehicles for all in-office visits.
Online transactions, including for license renewals, are still be available.
License and permit expirations will be extended.
The Governor also announced that federal
government approved New York’s request for a major disaster declaration that
allows FEMA to step in financially and assist the state. Under the current
declaration FEMA will pay 75 of the funding and New York is responsible for 25
percent. The Governor is urging the President and his administration to grant a
100 percent federal cost share under this declaration. The Governor urges
the federal government to quickly grant the state’s pending request to support
homeowners through additional individual assistance programs and statewide
hazard mitigation assistance.
The Governor is also asking New York’s Congressional delegation to modify federal coronavirus legislation to ensure New York is eligible for $6 billion in aid. Due to a current technical issue in the bill, New York State is not eligible to receive aid.
Additionally, the Governor announced that
State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Zucker has recommended
trials for new drug therapy to help combat COVID-19. The FDA is acquiring
10,000 doses of Hydroxychloroquine and Zithromax for New York State
to use on a trial basis.
New Yorkers can sign up to receive daily
email updates on the evolving COVID-19 situation here and can ask questions about
COVID-19 here. New Yorkers can
also find more information about the new COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law here.
“Every day we see the number of cases of
novel coronavirus continue to rise, and we know that by all projections we’re
going to have more hospitalizations than we can deal with in our healthcare
system,” Governor Cuomo said. “We have a plan of action to
help stop the spread of this virus, including expanding hospital capacity and
identifying new hospital beds, and after meeting with the Army Corps of
Engineers and hearing their recommendations, we stand ready for the building of
temporary hospitals at four facilities in New York State. This is a public
health crisis, but worse than the virus is the fear, but we have a plan and we
are doing everything we can to keep the people informed and save lives.”
We, the Leaders of the Group of Seven, acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic is a human tragedy and a global health crisis, which also poses major risks for the world economy. We are committed to doing whatever is necessary to ensure a strong global response through closer cooperation and enhanced coordination of our efforts. While current challenges may require national emergency measures, we remain committed to the stability of the global economy. We express our conviction that current challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic need a strongly coordinated international approach, based on science and evidence, consistent with our democratic values, and utilizing the strengths of private enterprise.
We are committed to marshalling the full power of our governments to: Coordinate on necessary public health measures to protect people at risk from COVID-19; Restore confidence, growth, and protect jobs; Support global trade and investment; Encourage science, research, and technology cooperation. By acting together, we will work to resolve the health and economic risks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and set the stage for a strong recovery of strong, sustainable economic growth and prosperity.
Accelerate Our Response to COVID-19
We will work hard to protect the health and safety of everyone in our countries. Stepping up the response to the outbreak remains our foremost priority. We will coordinate our efforts to delay the spread of the virus, including through appropriate border management measures.
We will enhance our efforts to strengthen health systems in our countries and globally. We fully support the World Health Organization in its global mandate to lead on disease outbreaks and emergencies with health consequences, leaving no geographical vacuum, and encourage all countries, international organizations, and the private sector to assist global efforts such as the Global Preparedness and Response Plan.
We stress the value of real-time information sharing to ensure access to the best and latest intelligence, improving prevention strategies and mitigation measures.
We will pool epidemiologic and other data to better understand and fight the virus.
We will increase coordinated research efforts, including through voluntary support for the global alliance Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation. We will support the launch of joint research projects funded by both public and private resources, and the sharing of facilities, towards rapid development, manufacture and distribution of treatments and a vaccine, adhering to the principles of efficacy, safety, and accessibility.
We will make efforts to increase the availability of medical equipment where it is most needed.
We will coordinate with online platforms to maximize public access to the latest correct and relevant official information, in recognition that millions of citizens receive information and news via social media.
To implement these objectives, and adapt measures if necessary, will require efforts across all parts of our governments, and we ask our health ministers to continue to coordinate on a weekly basis.
Forcefully Address the Economic Impact of the Outbreak
We resolve to coordinate measures and do whatever it takes, using all policy tools, to achieve strong growth in the G7 economies, and to safeguard against downside risks.
To this end, we are mobilizing the full range of instruments, including monetary and fiscal measures, as well as targeted actions, to support immediately and as much as necessary the workers, companies, and sectors most affected. This is particularly important for small and medium businesses and working families.
We also ask our central banks to continue to coordinate to provide the necessary monetary measures in order to support economic and financial stability, and to promote recovery and growth.
We ask our finance ministers to coordinate on a weekly basis on the implementation of those measures and to develop further timely and effective actions.
We reinforce the importance of coordination among international organizations even in the face of challenges to business continuity. We call on the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group and other International Organizations to further support countries worldwide as part of a coordinated global response, focused on this specific challenge. We also ask our finance ministers to work closely with International Organizations to design and implement swiftly the international financial assistance that is appropriate to help countries, including emerging and developing economies, face the health and economic shock of COVID-19.
We will address disturbances to international supply chains and continue our work to facilitate international trade.
Restore and Expand Growth
We will continue to work together with resolve to implement these measures to respond to this global emergency. In facing the economic challenge, we are determined not only to restore the level of growth anticipated before the COVID-19 pandemic but also to build the foundation for stronger future growth. We will continue to coordinate through the G7 Presidency including at the G7 Leaders’ Summit and call upon the G20 to support and amplify these efforts.