New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is providing Americans with a counterpoint to President Trump’s views on the Covid-19 pandemic, now said to have sickened more than 50,000 Americans and killed nearly 700.
While Trump still seems most concerned about the economy and Wall Street, Cuomo has embraced the need to first care for the sick and prevent as many deaths as possible.
And despite his understandable focus on New York, which is now the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., Americans across the country are heeding what the New York Times calls his “fact-based and emotional counters” to Trump.
Cuomo directly addressed Trump’s expressed desire for an early return to normal life, which experts say would likely result in more people getting sick.
“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 the premise that human life is disposable,” he said. “We’re not going to put a dollar figure on human life.”
As of Tuesday morning, New York State had 25,665 cases, about 15,000 of them in the City, with a total of at least 157 deaths. The state now accounts for nearly 7% of global cases tallied by the Times.
“Look at us today,” he warned the rest of the country on Tuesday. “Where we are today, you will be in four weeks or five weeks or six weeks. We are your future.”
Cuomo spoke at a news conference in front of piles of medical supplies at the sprawling Javits convention center in Manhattan, which is being turned into a 1,000-bed emergency hospital by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Cuomo showed a new projection, indicating that when the pandemic reaches its peak, the state will need 140,000 hospital beds. The previous estimate was 110,000. The state currently has only about 53,000 beds.
Among his many points about the crisis, Cuomo said the rate of new infections in New York is doubling about every three days.
“We haven’t flattened the curve. And the curve is actually increasing,” he said.
The peak of infection in New York could come as soon as two to three weeks, Cuomo said, which would put even bigger strain on the health care system than officials had feared.
“The apex is higher than we thought and the apex is sooner than we thought,” Cuomo said. “That is a bad combination of facts.”
Cuomo also aimed a barb at the Trump administration, which has sent just 400 ventilators to New York City so far.
“You want a pat on the back for sending 400 ventilators,” Cuomo said. “What are we going to do with 400 ventilators when we need 30,000 ventilators? You’re missing the magnitude of the problem, and the problem is defined by the magnitude.”