New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Friday that his city was now the ‘epicenter’ of the coronavirus outbreak in the US with more than 4,000 confirmed cases and 26 deaths as he pleaded with the federal government to give him help before hospitals become overwhelmed.
In an impassioned plea to President Trump on CNN, de Blasio said New York’s hospitals would run out of ventilators and surgical masks in two or three weeks.
He said he was considering turning hotels and the Javits Center, a sprawling expo-center in Hell’s Kitchen, into hospital ‘annexes’ but that the city desperately needed more supplies.
There are now more than 14,000 cases of coronavirus in the US and more than 200 people have died.
De Blasio said more would die unnecessarily unless the federal government stepped in.
‘Where the hell is the federal government in the middle of the biggest crisis we have seen in generations?
‘I have to be honest with the people of my city. Here are the facts – as of late last night, 4,000 cases confirmed in New York City, 26 people have died.
‘We constitute 30 percent of the cases in the US and 70 per cent of the cases in New York State. Whether we like it or not, we are the epicenter,’ he said.
In an impassioned plea to President Trump on CNN, de Blasio said New York’s hospitals would run out of ventilators and surgical masks in two or three weeks
De Blasio said on Thursday that the hospitals would run out of ventilators and masks in just two to three weeks.
He is begging the government to mobilize the army to bring any that are in other medical facilities around the country to New York, but claims he has not had a sufficient response.
‘I have made repeated appeals to the federal government to get us basic supplies and there is no meaningful response.
‘I have appealed to the president to activate the United States military which is actually the one force in this nation that could save us because they could mobilize quickly, effectively, to get us medical supplies, personnel – they could get the supplies that are in the rest of our country here in record time,’ he said.
‘We know what they can do in wartime, they can do it in peace time and you know where they are?
‘They’re at their bases right now because the president of the United States, the Commander in Chief, has not given the order.’
‘I’ve got people in my city, right now, a lot of them are older, a lot of them are suffering from other diseases – if help doesn’t come, we’re going to lose people who should not die,’ he continued.
De Blasio says he is looking at turning the Javits Center, an enormous expo center, into a hospital. He will also turn hotels into hospital ‘annexes’ he said
As of 8pm on Saturday night, all beauty salons, tattoo parlors and ‘similar services’ will close
The streets of New York are empty, with millions staying at home per the advice of the government
‘People will die who should not die because in two or three weeks, my hospitals, some of the finest in the nation, will run out of ventilators, surgical masks, other protective things and all the things we need to run a hospital.
‘It will endanger our healthcare workers. They’re showing up – they keep coming to work.’
Since Tuesday, more than 2,000 retired healthcare workers have volunteered to come back to work.
De Blasio has been calling for a full on city shut down for days but Governor Andrew Cuomo is resisting him.
De Blasio said the Javits Center was a ‘possibility’ for a hospital ‘annex’ as are hotels.
‘We’re going to use every building we have,’ he said.
De Blasio has been indirectly accused by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of stoking ‘panic and fear’ with his emotional and fervent comments.
Cuomo has repeatedly resisted implementing a ‘shelter in place’ order – which de Blasio has called for and told people to expect numerous times – saying it would do nothing but panic people further.
There are now more than 14,000 cases of coronavirus in the US and more than 211 have died
All of New York’s bars, restaurants, movie theaters, gyms and casinos are closed.
As of Friday night, hair salons, nail salons and other beauty businesses are being shut down too.
Any other business that is still operating must do so with only 25 percent of their workforce. He has exempted news organizations from the order, saying they provide a vital role in delivering information about the pandemic to the public.
Cuomo has also made pleas for more hospital equipment.
The federal government has dispatched USNS Comfort, a Navy hospital ship, which will dock in New York City and provide another 1,000 beds for people with non-coronavirus related illnesses.
The goal is to free up as many beds as possible in other hospitals for those with COVID-19.
Trump, in his daily press briefings, has spoken more about the country’s ongoing search for ventilators and its research into drugs and vaccines, along with how the economy is going to be affected, than he has about New York.
On Thursday, the Governor of California issued an indefinite ‘stay at home’ order for the state’s 40million residents.
California governor Gavin Newsom issues statewide ‘Stay At Home’ order for 40 million people
California’s governor on Thursday issued an unprecedented statewide ‘stay at home order’ directing the state’s 40 million residents to hunker down in their homes for the foreseeable future in the face of the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic.
Governor Gavin Newsom’s directive, effective immediately, marks the largest and most sweeping government clampdown yet in the worsening public health crisis brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak, which he predicted could infect more than half the state within eight weeks.
‘We are confident the people of California will abide by it, they will meet this moment,’ Newsom, a Democrat in his first term as governor of the nation’s most populous state, said at a late-afternoon news briefing from the state capital in Sacramento.
Newsom said in the letter (pictured) that officials project that roughly ’56 per cent of our population – 25.5 million people – will be infected with the virus over an eight-week period’
‘They’ll step up as they have over the last number of weeks to protect themselves, to protect their families and to protect the broader community in this great state and the world we reside in.’
Newsom said exceptions to the stay-at-home rule would be granted for residents to make necessary trips to grocery stores, pharmacies, doctors and in some cases work.
He did not give an end date for the order but suggested that it would last for at least eight weeks.
The governor said the order was essential in light of modeling by experts that showed roughly 56 per cent of the state’s residents, or 25 million people, would contract the respiratory illness in the next eight weeks.
Such numbers would require nearly 20,000 more hospital beds than the state could provide.
Already more than 1,000 Californians have been confirmed as infected and 18 have died, the third largest death toll in the United States behind only Washington state and New York.
California is home to some 40 million people, including an estimated 108,000 homeless.
Just before the press conference, Newsom released a copy of a letter that he sent to Donald Trump in which he asked the president to send help ‘immediately’.
‘I respectfully request you immediately deploy the USNS Mercy Hospital Ship to be stationed at the port of Los Angeles through September 1, 2020, to help decompress our current health care delivery system in the Los Angeles region in response to the COVID-19 outbreak,’ Newsom’s letter reads.
Newsom said officials project that roughly ’56 per cent of our population – 25.5 million people – will be infected with the virus over an eight-week period’.
Earlier this week, Trump did say that the Navy hospital ships Mercy and Comfort would be pressed into service, one on each coast, as healthcare systems become badly strained during the pandemic.
But US defense officials have said the ships were not yet ready to sail on the emergency mission, with the Comfort undergoing maintenance in Virginia.
An unnamed US defense official said Thursday that the Mercy would be sent from San Diego to the Seattle area, which is one of the nation’s worst outbreaks of the respiratory illness that has killed more than 200 people nationwide and infected more than 14,000 others.
Trump spoke with several state governors by phone on Thursday, saying the federal government would be helping out US auto companies and might consider a relief package for the hospitality industry as well.