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NY Gov. Cuomo compares 9/11 to 'silent explosion' of COVID-19

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Referring to the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, "9/11 was supposed to be the darkest day in New York for a generation."

The governor said the coronavirus outbreak was "a silent explosion that just ripples through society with the same randomness, the same evil that we saw on 9/11."

New York saw a sharp drop in the number of people newly admitted to hospitals in the past 24 hours to the lowest level in the coronavirus crisis, a sign that social distancing steps are working, Cuomo said.

The number of deaths increased to 799 on April 8, up from 779 a day earlier and a record high for a third day.

Video Transcript

ANDREW CUOMO: The additional good news is the hospitalization rate does suggest that it's coming down and we are flattening the curve. We had 200 net increase in hospitalizations, which you can see is the lowest number we've had since this nightmare started, actually. Change in ICU admissions is the lowest number we've had since March 19 or so. So all of this data suggests that we are flattening the curve so far, and the numbers are coming down so far.

Our expression has been New York Tough because every day is tough on many, many levels. I get it. But every day that we are New York Tough, we are actually saving lives.

And don't underestimate this virus. I think that is a mistake we made from day one, we as the collective we, we as the global community. This virus is very, very good at what it does. We lost more lives yesterday than we have to date.

I understand the data, but you're talking about 799 lives, the highest number ever. It's gotten to the point, frankly, that we're going to bring in additional funeral directors to deal with the number of people who have passed. If you ever told me that as governor I would have to take these actions, I couldn't even contemplate where we are now.

And to put all of this in perspective, I lived through 9/11. 9/11 was supposed to be the darkest day in New York for a generation. We've done everything we can since 9/11 to make sure 9/11 didn't happen again. We lose 2,753 lives on 9/11. We've lost over 7,000 lives to this crisis. That is so shocking and painful and breathtaking. I can't-- I don't even have the words for it.

9/11 was so devastating, so tragic. And then, in many ways, we lose so many more New Yorkers to this silent killer. There was no explosion. But it was a silent explosion that just ripples through society with the same randomness, the same evil that we saw on 9/11.