So far, New York has been hit particularly hard by the Coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., with tens of thousands of confirmed cases in the state and over 500 deaths. Other heavily populated locales may be on a similar trajectory. In the meantime, as this week drew to a close, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) delivered an energetic speech to members of the National Guard who had gathered in his state to assist in the rapid development of four field hospitals to care for those afflicted with the Coronavirus.
‘Every time the National Guard has been called out, they have made every New Yorker proud, and I am proud to be with you yet again, and I’m proud to fight this fight with you… I say, my friends, that we go out there today and we kick coronavirus ass, that’s what I say. And we’re going to save lives and New York is going to thank you.’
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 27, 2020
Addressing the crowd, which consisted of members of the National Guard sitting significant distances apart to apparently comply with social distancing guidelines, the governor added that “when other people played it safe, you had the courage to show up.” Cuomo was speaking at the Javits Center in New York City, which is one of the temporary hospital sites. New York City alone has already faced thousands of hospitalizations, which have threatened to overwhelm the city’s health care system. Cuomo is seeking additional federal approval for the construction of four more field hospitals in the state.
The services of the National Guard have seemingly proven quite crucial in the state. Cuomo shared an estimate that New York will need 140,000 hospital beds, which is more than double the 53,000 beds that the state currently has. Other locales have also been facing looming shortages of available space and equipment. To help alleviate the struggle, a U.S. Navy hospital ship arrived in the Los Angeles area just this week. California currently has just under 5,000 confirmed Coronavirus cases across the state, and the hospital ship’s arrival fulfills a direct request from the governor.
Gov. Cuomo responds to President Trump, who said he doesn't believe New York needs 30K ventilators.
"I hope no one needs a ventilator," Cuomo told @LesterHoltNBC today. "But I don't operate on what I hope…I operate on the data…"
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) March 27, 2020
In New York’s case, Cuomo has also been after tens of thousands of ventilators to bulk up his state’s supply. The devices are crucial to combating the effects of the Coronavirus, which is a respiratory ailment. During a Fox News appearance on Thursday night, Trump said that he did not believe that the state really needed tens of thousands of ventilators, and the next day on CBS, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams seemed to back Trump up — but it doesn’t matter what Trump believes! What matters is what’s happening on the ground, and Cuomo rebuked the president’s dismissal of his state’s issues.
NY Gov. Cuomo to Pres. Trump saying he doesn't need ventilators: “Nobody knows what’s going to happen. I rely on the data, I rely on the science … That’s the way you run government. I hope we don’t need any ventilators. I hope this ends tomorrow. But, that’s also irrelevant.” pic.twitter.com/hH6TlgAdKc
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 27, 2020
Cuomo called the president’s assessment “incorrect and grossly uninformed.” As he explained it, ventilators that the state does have on hand will be increasingly needed as the disease progresses in the state for at least the next few weeks or so. The state needs more ventilators beyond that amount — and lives hang in the balance while Trump stumbles around.
Cuomo hits Trump for this tweet, calling it "incorrect and grossly uninformed." He says the ventilators are in a stockpile and haven't been sent to hospitals yet because they'll be needed when New York hits its apex in about 21 days. https://t.co/DprhocgJSh
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) March 27, 2020