The New York Times Company
Coronavirus is accelerating its spread in New York, with potentially disastrous consequences, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a briefing on Tuesday in which he criticized the federal government’s response as woefully insufficient.
The case count is doubling every three days, and the peak of infection in New York could come as soon as two to three weeks, Cuomo said, outrunning earlier projections and threatening to put even greater strain on the health care system than officials had feared.
“We haven’t flattened the curve. And the curve is actually increasing,” Cuomo said. “The apex is higher than we thought and the apex is sooner than we thought. That is a bad combination of facts.”
Cuomo, who last week adopted a friendlier tone toward President Donald Trump, chastised the federal government, which has so far sent 400 ventilators to New York City.
“You want a pat on the back for sending 400 ventilators,” Cuomo said. “What are we going to do with 400 ventilators when we need 30,000 ventilators? You’re missing the magnitude of the problem, and the problem is defined by the magnitude.”
Shortly after Cuomo’s comments, Vice President Mike Pence said on Fox News that the federal government had shipped 2,000 ventilators to New York on Tuesday and would send 2,000 more on Wednesday.
Cuomo, speaking at the Javits Center in Manhattan, a convention complex that the Army Corps of Engineers is turning into a 1,000-bed emergency hospital, said that the state now projects a need of up to 140,000 hospital beds to house virus patients, up from the 110,000 projected a few days ago. As of now, only 53,000 are available.
Up to 40,000 intensive-care beds could be needed.
“Those are troubling and astronomical numbers,” Cuomo said.