Social distancing slowing coronavirus, says NY governor

Clay Curtis
March 27, 2020

New York state, leading the nation in coronavirus infections and deaths, is showing tentative signs of curbing the spread of the disease, the governor said on Wednesday, even as fatalities in New York City jumped while the health crisis deepened in hard-hit New Orleans and elsewhere.

Many coronavirus patients need a ventilator to breathe.

But many patients will have different requirements, and the settings on each ventilator need to be tailored to each patient's needs. Based on the large number of hospitalised patients on ventilators, that number is expected to continue to increase, Cuomo said.

NY is on a trajectory worse than Madrid and the Italian region of Lombardy - the heart of the country's outbreak - according to data from the Financial Times.

Visitors to the Department of Labor are turned away at the door by personnel due to closures over coronavirus concerns, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in NY.

"He had a chance to buy - in 2015 - 16,000 ventilators at a very low price and he turned it down".

Even if automakers and others start producing in May or June, any ventilators they make still will save multiple lives because they can be used to help two or more people, said Dr. Jack Iwashyna, a professor of internal medicine at the University of MI.

"They could have had 15 or 16,000 two years ago and all they had to do was order them". That was our public health strategy.

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NY has approved technology that allows two patients to share a single ventilator. Her op-ed was later picked up by the far-right blog Gateway Pundit. The three states hardest hit so far - New York, California and Washington - were given such status previously. Instead, the 2015 report acknowledged that NY should instead prepare for a moderate scenario and rely on federal resources if faced with a severe scenario. "You can't make a pulmonary critical care doc in a day".

While New York was the coronavirus epicentre in the United States this week, Louisiana could be the next.

The state has purchased an additional 7000 and is looking for more.

In his daily update on efforts to contain the deadly pandemic, Cuomo said projection rates suggested hospitalizations were increasing at a slower rate than before. "Read the fact checkers on it". He has repeatedly called for increase support from the federal government. The federal government did not buy ventilators for the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. "The situation isn't easy but easy times don't forge character", Cuomo said.

The Governor is also praising all the other health professionals including students, retired doctors and nurses and those working for other fields like insurance, who are volunteering to take care of all the additional hospital beds that are being activated to deal with the surge in coronavirus patients in NY. Ventilators, though, are in short supply. If social distancing works, people will catch the virus at different times, allowing hospitals to use ventilators multiple times. If it came between two patients who had the same diagnosis, the triage committee would randomly pick - like a lottery.

The recent death toll includes a health care worker at one of the New York City hospitals under siege by the coronavirus has died, according to coworkers and his sister.

The bill is the latest battleground between NY officials and the federal government; De Blasio and Cuomo have continually challenged the Trump administration and Congress to do more for their constituents.

During Thursday's press briefing, Cuomo said the goal is still to flatten the curve as much as possible, but at this point, there's no way to get it low enough so that hospitals will have the ability to respond properly.

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