NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Gov. Andrew Cuomo continued to push for additional help from the federal government as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread.
There are now 66,497 confirmed coronavirus cases in New York, Cuomo said Monday, including 9,517 hospitalized, 2,352 ICU patients and 4,204 patients who have been hospitalized and discharged.
The death toll in New York state climbed to 1,218.
“Big picture is the situation is painfully clear now. There’s no question as to what we’re dealing with. There’s no question as to the consequences. There’s no question as to the grief and loss of life. And there’s no question about what we must do. There are only two missions. There are only two operations that we need to perform. First, the public has to be responsible. Stay at home,” Cuomo said. “It is a mandate. Stay at home. If you’re a non-essential worker, stay at home. If you leave the house you’re exposing yourself to danger. If you leave the house, you’re exposing others to danger.”
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Cuomo said the isolation can be oppressive but “it is better than the alternative.”
Cuomo said people must stay six feet apart whenever they go out.
Cuomo again threatened to close down playgrounds if people don’t get the message and stay apart.
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“The soldiers in this fight are our health care professionals,” Cuomo said. “In this battle, the troops are health care professionals.”
Cuomo called on health care professionals from across the country to come to New York to help.
“Anyone who says this situation is a New York City only situation is in a state of denial. You see this virus move across the state, you see the virus move across this nation. There is no American who is immune to this virus. I don’t care if you live in Kansas. I don’t care if you live in Texas. There is no American that is immune. What is happening to New York is not an anomaly. There is nothing about a New Yorker’s immune system that is any different than any other American’s immune system,” Cuomo said. “So in many ways New York is just a canary in a coal mine.”
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“What they still don’t get is how to run a government, how to plan an operation,” he said. “This virus has been ahead of us from day one. We’ve been playing catch up from day one. That we’re doing in New York is we know the apex is still two, three, four weeks away depending on whose projection model you use.”
Cuomo said New York had received 4,000 ventilators from the federal government which have not yet been deployed to hospitals.
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“I’m not using them today because I don’t need them today, I need to assemble them in a stockpile,” said Cuomo. “A stockpile, by definition, is to be used at the high point.”
Cuomo said the stockpile is in a warehouse in Edison, N.J.
“If you are not preparing for the apex, and for the high point, you are missing the entire point of the operation. It is a fundamental blunder to only prepare for today,” Cuomo said.
That high point is expected to hit in roughly three weeks.
“Pardon me if I’m a little emotional, but I’m living with this 24 hours a day and I’m seeing people die all around me,” Cuomo said. “The science people, the government professionals have to stand up and look the president in the eye and say this is not a political exercise. This is not press relations. It’s not optics. The tsunami is coming. We know it is.
“Now is the time to gather supplies, do the preparations because it’s too late the day before,” he said. “If you have not done the work before the storm hits, it’s too late to do it once the storm hits. And the storm is coming. Stop the politics. Listen to the scientists and the pros and plan because otherwise… people will die who don’t need to die. That’s the bottom line.”
Cuomo took aim at some of President Donald Trump‘s recent comments, including one in which Trump said he hoped to have things reopen somewhat in time for Easter.
“Easter was never real. So many things he says that are not real that, frankly, I don’t have the luxury of trying to decipher every message, right? I’m living day by day,” he said. “I see the storm coming. I can see the forecast. I follow projections. I follow science. I follow data. I don’t have instinct. I don’t have a gut. It’s not about emotion.
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“The storm hits, according to McKinsey and Cornell and the Gates Foundation, the storm hits in two weeks, three weeks,” said Cuomo. “This is what I’m going to need if you don’t want to see a total collapse, and let’s focus on getting that. Everything else is baloney to me. I can’t decipher the daily mumblings of the president.”
Cuomo said “the numbers will increase, and the numbers are spreading every day. It’s more and more clear.”
“I am not engaging the president in politics. My only goal is to engage the president in partnership. This is no time for politics, and you know, lead by example. I’m not going to get into a political dispute with the president. I’m not going to rise to the bait of a political challenge. I’m not running for president, I was never running for president. I said from day one I wasn’t running for president. I’m not running for president now. I’m not playing politics, I just want partnership to deal with this,” Cuomo said.