Mayor Bill de Blasio warns New Yorkers lockdown could last throughout May as he says ‘now is the time to double down, not relax’ on coronavirus social distancing measures
- The current shutdown order is in place in New York until the end of April 29
- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been hesitant to look any further beyond that
- It is his decision whether or not New York City stays in lockdown for longer
- But on Thursday, Mayor de Blasio said he anticipates the current state will go into May
- There is still a rising death toll in New York but hospitalizations are slowing
- It shows social distancing is working, but officials do not want to ‘claim victory too soon and risk a resurgence’
Mayor Bill de Blasio warned on Thursday that the current state of lockdown could last beyond April and into May as he said now was the time to increase social distancing efforts and not relax them in light of slowing coronavirus hospitalization rates.
The mayor spoke at a press conference where he said the data proved New York City was bending its curve by staying indoors and practicing social distancing.
He commended the city’s residents for their ‘noble’ efforts but said they had to continue in order to avoid a resurgence of the virus.
COVID-19 has already claimed more than 4,000 lives in New York City and more than 150,000 people are infected.
De Blasio warned on Thursday that the current state of lockdown could last longer than just April and said it may go into May
While the death toll continues to rise as people who were admitted to the hospital 10 days ago or two weeks ago fail to recover, the rate of hospitalizations and ICU admissions is slowing.
The decision on how long social distancing laws last in New York City is not de Blasio’s – the governor, Andrew Cuomo, is the only person with the authority to implement them.
De Blasio however said on Thursday he believes we are in for ‘very hard April’ and a ‘hard May’.
‘I don’t think it happens in April. If we really work hard we have a chance of in May or June,’ he said.
The ‘promised land’, he said, was reduced restrictions but that in order for that to happen, more tests need to become available.
‘We’re going to need more testing. If we could get widespread testing it would start to change the entire strategy and allow us to do so much more.
‘It’s not clear how and when that happens.’
Health professionals transported by ambulance a baby with an oxygen cylinder attached to a stretcher in New York on Wednesday
Cuomo has resisted making any predictions before April 29. That is the current end-date for New York State’s stay-at-home order.
When asked about it on Thursday, he said he was hesitant to go beyond April 29 and that.
‘I am not going to guess when the data will say we should change our practices.
‘How can you say that? Who can look forward and say, “this is where we’re going to be in three to four weeks.
‘You saw the projection models by the expert companies which frankly, were all off. So I’m not going to say to anyone, “this is where we’ll be.” I have no idea.
‘I don’t know if the curve goes up or goes down. It depends on what we do and we’ll know when we get there.
NY Gov Andrew Cuomo is the only person who can put NYC on lockdown. He is refusing to say whether the guidelines will go beyond April
‘I have spoken to the smartest people in the world over the last few weeks and the smartest person will start by saying, “I don’t know.”
‘That, to me, is the sign of wisdom in all of this,’ he said.
He did say that the state was ‘by no means out of the woods’ and he urged people to be more vigilant than ever with social distancing.
White House coronavirus expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Thursday morning that he ‘hopes’ April will be long enough to stop the spread to an extent that society can start to ‘gradually’ reboot, but that only the data will dictate whether or not that is an option.
Initially, projections suggested that as many as 200,000 Americans could die from the virus.
That number has decreased dramatically due to the effectiveness of social distancing.
Now, it is projected that around 60,000 will die.