New York Governor Andrew Cuomo: ‘We’re asking the country to help us’
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is giving a press conference this afternoon.
The state is the worst-affected in the US, with more than 25,600 cases – almost half of all the cases in the US.
Mr Cuomo says that the number of patients being admitted to hospitals has moved at a higher rate than projected – currently, they predict 140,000 people could require hospital treatment, although the state’s hospital capacity is 52,000 – meaning that they need to rapidly increase capacity.
However, there’s also positive news – Mr Cuomo said that evidence suggests that the state’s density control plan was working – while hospital admissions are still increasing, the rate of increase has slowed. He cautions that projections are not always watertight – but “the arrows are headed in the right direction”.
Here are some more updates from Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York state – which has almost half of all cases in the US.
Crowds forming in New York City’s parks have been a problem – as a result, the city is going to pilot closing certain streets to cars, so that pedestrians can use them.
Mr Cuomo said he had spoken to President Donald Trump, and White House officials, several times. He has asked the White House for more essential equipment and personnel, as “our apex is first and our numbers are the highest”, and pledged to redeploy equipment and personnel to the next hot spot “as soon as we get past our critical moment… we’re asking the country to help us – we will return the favour”.
He reminded young people to stay cautious. “I’ve been as blunt as I can… you may think you’re a superhero, but you can catch it and you can transfer it.”
He also asked mental health professionals to sign up to provide services online, saying: “No one’s really talking about that. Don’t underestimate the emotional trauma people are feeling.”
Mr Cuomo said the $2tn (£1.7tn) stimulus bill agreed in the Senate would be “terrible” for New York, as the state had already spent $3.8bn combating the outbreak, and would only receive $1.3bn from the bill.