NY state virus toll spikes as officials plea for medical volunteers

Clay Curtis
April 5, 2020

Cuomo said he would sign an executive order allowing medical students poised to graduate this spring to begin practicing now.

China and OR have both promised to send ventilators to New York to help the state fight an outbreak of the novel coronavirus as the number of cases and deaths in the state climbed upward, New York Gov. "Can we handle that number of cases at the high point of the curve?"

"By the numbers, we're not yet at the apex. But there's part of me that says it's good that we're not at the apex because we're not yet ready for the apex either, still working on the capacity of the (healthcare) system", the governor said.

"It's only been 30 days since our first case", he said.

Cuomo also gave a grim assessment of the rising number of casualties, saying the state witnessed the highest single increase in the number of deaths since we started.

Already, the US has seen more confirmed cases of the virus than the next two countries combined, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

White House medical experts have forecast that between 100,000 to 240,000 Americans could be killed in the pandemic, even if sweeping orders to stay home are followed.

New York City, meanwhile, has tallied 63,306 confirmed cases and 2,624 deaths.

Trump's remarks came during a winding press conference Saturday where he touched on a bevy of topics, from coronavirus-riddled USS Theodore Roosevelt and the whistleblower who sparked the impeachment investigation.

At the same time, more than 233,000 people have recovered from the virus, which causes mild to moderate symptoms in most patients, who recover within a few weeks.

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"No one can give you a very specific number, which makes it frustrating to plan", Cuomo said.

Another physician, Dr Craig Spencer, director of global health in emergency medicine at New York's Columbia University Medical Center, described the scene inside tents set up outside hospitals to help contain an increasing influx of patients.

In a sign of the disorganized response to the global crisis, Cuomo went out of his way to praise the collaboration of the Chinese government in securing a shipment of the breathing machines that was scheduled to arrive at Kennedy Airport on Saturday, while acknowledging that the USA government's stockpile of medical supplies would fall drastically short.

Cuomo has expressed anger over the short supply of essential medical equipment for healthcare professionals to help them deal with the surge in coronavirus cases across the state and the country. Yet there's still a dire need for ventilators and staff, he said.

Nearly all Americans are under orders from state and local officials to stay home except for essential outings such as grocery shopping or seeing a doctor.

Earlier he urged residents to wear masks - "that could be a scarf or something you make yourself, a bandana" - when they go out.

There were still some hold-outs elsewhere, though.

Louisiana has become a U.S. hot spot for the virus, on Saturday reporting a jump in deaths to 409.

In upstate NY, state Sen.

Louisiana Governor John Edwards said he spoke with Vice President Mike Pence yesterday - and that he had been promised an additional 200 ventilators from the national stockpile. The state Health Department said no information was available beyond the governor's remarks.

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