NY governor says infection rate worse than feared



The governor revealed what he described as "troubling and astronomical numbers" during his daily coronavirus briefing. He said the state may soon require 30,000 ventilators but only 7,000 have been procured.

Coronavirus cases in the state continue to rise and now total over 20,000. The state says at least 210 people have died from COVID-19.

Cuomo said efforts to slow the rate of increase haven't worked. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in MI have continued to rise, jumping from 549 on Friday to 1,328 by Monday. Queens had the most cases out of any borough - 4,364 - followed by Brooklyn, 4,237; Manhattan, 2,887; the Bronx, 2,328; and Staten Island, 935. So far, the results are not encouraging.

"We are not slowing it, and it's accelerating on its own", Cuomo said on Tuesday regarding the spread of Covid-19 cases in his state. "One of the forecasters said to me we were looking at a freight train coming across the country".

Cuomo Tuesday said the rate of new infections is doubling about every three days.

"We must dramatically increase the hospital capacity to meet that highest apex, and we have to do it very quickly", he added.

The state also desperately needs ventilators, to help people breathe after their lungs have been compromised by COVID-19. Cuomo and Pres. Donald Trump have said they're "optimistic" about about these drugs; both are unproven against the coronavirus. "I've spoken with a number of health officials and there is a good basis to believe that they could work".

"There are two different types of facilities [at the Javits Center]", Cuomo said during Tuesday's press conference. "But at this point, we have no alternative".

The governor repeated his call for additional assistance from Washington.

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Vice President Mike Pence told Fox that the national stockpile has 20,000 and "we have been making those available".

He said there were some who thought that "if we go on too long with the economy shut down, the human toll for that could be greater than the risk of the virus".

Trump was quoting a Gateway Pundit blog post that falsely accuses Cuomo of turning down the purchase of ventilators in 2016, and which is based on an opinion column penned by the co-inventor of the original "death panel" lie, Betsy McCaughey.

Cuomo paid tribute to New York's medical workers, police, firefighters and transit workers, who are putting their lives on the line every day.

"But he should have ordered the ventilators, and he had a choice, he had a chance because right here", Trump continued, taking out some papers to had to Hemmer, "I just got this out, that he refused to order 15,000 ventilators, I'll show this to Bill, take a look at that Bill".

The ventilators should be deployed around the country as they are needed, Cuomo said. NY has nowhere near enough beds or ventilators now, Cuomo said.

The outbreak has led to a dramatic change in America's social fabric: as of Monday, the New York Times estimated that more than 158 million people in 16 states would soon be under strict orders to stay at home - approaching half of the population.

The governor said his state will not be the only one with a dire need for ventilators and other key resources. "We are helping the states to get equipment, but it is not easy".

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