NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday the coronavirus pandemic represents a “double whammy” to state and local govenments in terms of revenue. Governments are spending more to fight the virus while also receiving less revenue from taxes as businesses are shut down.
Cuomo estimated New York will lose $10-15 billion in revenue as a result of the pandemic. The state is receiving $5 billion as part of the $2 trillion federal stimulus, and that money is earmarked only for coronavirus response.
“That is a ton of money for the state of New York’s budget,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo said the federal stimulus bill helped unemployment insurance and small business, but did not help state or local governments.
“I believe that what they did failed to meet the governmental need. I’m disappointed,” Cuomo said. “I find it irresponsible. I find it reckless.
“This was the time to put politics aside and partisanship aside,” Cuomo added. “This is the time for governmental leaders to stop making excuses and just do your job. Do your job. We’re one nation. You know the places in this nation that have the most intense problems. Address the places that need the help. And this is not a time to point fingers, this is not a time to make excuses. This is not a time to blame everyone else. We’ve lived with that in Washington for years. Now is the time to actually step up, do the right thing, and do your job. And they haven’t, as far as I’m concerned, especially when it comes to the governmental need.”
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As of Thursday, there have been 385 fatalities in New York related to COVID-19 and 37,258 positive cases across the state. That includes 5,327 hospitalizations and 1,290 ICU patients on ventilators.
There are also 1,517 people who have been treated and discharged.
“What we’re looking for is not a reduction in the number of cases. We’re looking for is a reduction in the rate of the increase in the number of cases. That’s what comes first when you’re starting to make progress,” Cuomo said.
“Almost any scenario that is realistic will overwhelm the capacity of the current health care system,” he added.
Cuomo has previously said the peak of the pandemic is expected in New York within 21 days.
Current coronavirus projections show about 15% of people who contract COVID-19 will require hospitalization, Cuomo said.
New York will need up to 140,000 hospital beds, and has a current capacity of roughly 53,000 beds. There will be a need for 40,000 ICU beds with ventilators.
Cuomo said he’s looking to add more than 1,000 hospital bed overflow facility to each of the five boroughs and all downstate counties.
The governor said New York state has approved a process of dividing a single ventilator for use between two people. New York is also looking at using anesthesia equipment as a ventilator, he added.
Cuomo again said that there was no federal stockpile of ventilators and that they were doing the same thing as the state — looking for more of them.
“The outpouring of support for the people of New York has been so inspiring. Not just from New Yorkers. I’m telling you from across the country, from across the world. You would be amazed at how many phone calls we get, how many offers of support, how many creative ideas we get from everyone,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo also said people are responding to his call for a reserve “surge” force of medical professionals. Cuomo said that more than 12,000 medical professionals volunteered in a single day to join the coronavirus response — in addition to the previous 40,000 — and more than 8,600 mental health professionals had offered to help as well.
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A makeshift morgue has been set up outside Bellevue Hospital in case the city’s permanent morgues fill up, the medical examiner’s office said. It’s just another image driving home the severity of the situation.
Elmhurst Hospital in Queens confirmed Wednesday night that 13 people died from coronavirus over the course of just 24 hours.
In a statement, officials describe Elmhurst as the “epicenter” of the COVID-19 crisis, saying the staff is going “above and beyond” to save lives.
The hospital said more workers and supplies are being “surged” to the facility to keep pace with the overflow of new patients.
Despite all the bad news of late, Cuomo offered another message of hope, CBS2’s Jessica Moore reported.
“We’re going to get through this. The only question is how we get through it and when we get through it. But let’s make sure at the end of the day that we can say, we are the better for it,” Cuomo said.