New York Gov. Cuomo sounds the alarm on coronavirus acceleration: 'The apex is higher than we thought, and the apex is sooner than we thought'

insider@insider.com (Jake Lahut)
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a news conference on Monday, March 23.

Mike Segar/Reuters

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for the federal government to act swiftly to help the Empire State respond to the coronavirus outbreak during a Tuesday-morning press briefing.
  • Cuomo said the state has raised their projection for the number of hospital beds needed at the peak of COVID-19 cases from 110,000 to 140,000. There are only 53,000 beds in New York currently.
  • "New York has 25,000 cases," Cuomo said. "It has 10 times the problem that California has, 10 times the problem that Washington state has."
  • "In New York you are looking at a problem that is of a totally different magnitude and dimension. The problem is the volume."
  • A refrain from Cuomo centered on how New York is simply experiencing the first wave of accelerating outbreaks, and other states will need to brace for impact.
  • "We're not slowing it, and it is accelerating on its own," Cuomo said.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo painted a dire picture of the coronavirus outbreak in the Empire State during a press briefing Tuesday morning.

"We're not slowing it, and it is accelerating on its own," Cuomo said. "New York has 25,000 cases. It has 10 times the problem that California has, 10 times the problem that Washington state has … In New York you are looking at a problem that is of a totally different magnitude and dimension. The problem is the volume."

After the state increased its testing capabilities, Cuomo said the virus has been doubling every three days. That acceleration led Cuomo to raise the state's projection of hospital beds it will need at the peak of the outbreak from 110,000 to 140,000. Currently, New York has 53,000.

"The apex is higher than we thought and the apex is sooner than we thought — that's a bad combination of facts," the governor added.

He again called for more ventilators, urging President Trump to use the Defense Production Act to compel companies to produce the devices needed to save the lives of those hardest hit by COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Previously, Cuomo lamented that states have been outbidding one another for medical supplies, which could be avoided with greater federal action.

"FEMA is sending us 400 ventilators. 400 ventilators? I need 30,000 ventilators," Cuomo said on Tuesday. "You want a pat on the back for sending 400 ventilators? What are we going to do with 400 ventilators when we need 30,000 ventilators? You're missing the magnitude of the problem."

Cuomo underscored the severity of the public-health crisis amid the Trump administration's push to "restart" the economy, which would require getting more Americans to stop social distancing and get back to work.

"No American is going to say 'accelerate the economy at the cost of human life,' because no American is going to say how much a life is worth. Job one has to be save lives," Cuomo said.

After presenting the newly updated statistics and emphasizing their severity, Cuomo implored the federal government to step in before it's too late for New York and other states, which he said will face the apex later on.

"I'm not asking you to help New York just to help New York," he said. "I'm asking you to help New York to help yourselves … Let's learn how to act as one nation."

Read the original article on Business Insider