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Andrew Cuomo New York City New York State

Press conference with New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo (3/26/20)

Cuomo gave the first press conference of the day, so here are some highlights from this morning. Be warned, today was a bit grimmer than yesterday. Cuomo did deliver some pretty spicy quotes today though, some of which I have written here verbatim.

IMMEDIATE UPDATES

  • First of all, he’s letting us know that he’s here to hit us with some facts. I personally love that Cuomo is very straight forward about what’s a fact and what’s his opinion. I wish Deblasio and 45 would learn something from Cuomo’s example!
  • We are still trying to flatten the curve and increase hospital capacity.
  • The optimum situation would be to not have an apex to the curve.
  • Dr. Fauci has been very kind and helpful, and has been a great friend to the state of New York.
  • We cannot get this curve low enough to avoid overwhelming the hospitals unless we expand our hospital beds.
  • The goal is to have at least one 1,000+ overflow facility in Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and Rockland county.
  • The goal is also to increase current hospital capacity by 50 to 100%
  • We do have enough PPE in stock for the immediate future.
  • The state is still shopping for ventilators.
  • The state has approved the technology to split ventilators.
  • They are working on converting anesthesia machines to ventilators.
  • The average patient is on a ventilator for 3 – 4 days, however they are finding that a COVID patient is generally on a ventilator for 11 – 21 days.
  • They are also working on shifting the load of patients, and thinking about trying to transfer people from downstate to upstate hospitals in the event that this becomes a necessity.

THE ECONOMY

  • We have increased expenses because of the COVID virus. We also have a loss of revenue. How do we balance this budget now?
  • The estimated loss of revenue will be between 10 billion and 15 billion dollars.
  • The feds did not give us enough money, but are saying “maybe” they will come back to this issue. “Maybe, maybe, maybe…” Governor Cuomo says as he waves his hand in the air dismissively.
  • We do know that this bill will help with unemployment costs.
  • Quote: “It did not help local governments or state governments, and it did not address the governmental loss. And the federal officials, well the ones who are being honest, will admit that.”
  • We get $5B for the state, but it is earmarked only for COVID expenses.
  • He says the federal government simply failed to meet state needs. He says he finds this to be “reckless and irresponsible” on the part of our federal government. He says, quote: “when this is over, I promise you I’m gonna give them a piece of my mind. But, I would say to them today; this is an extraordinary time in this nation, and it’s an extraordinary time for government. This was the time to put politics aside, and partisanship aside. This is the time for governmental leaders to stop making excuses, and just do your job. Do. Your. Job.”
  • The state budget is due April 1st. There are a lot of unknowns.
  • Budgets will have initial projections adjusted down, and then they will have to have periods of reflections throughout the year.

TESTING AND HARD NUMBERS

  • 18,650 new tests have been done in NY so far.
  • We are testing more people per capita than South Korea or China.
  • This does not mean we are finding all the positives.
  • The number of deaths are increasing.
  • Some patients now on ventilators for 20-30 days.
  • The longer you are on a ventilator, the less likely it is that you will survive.
  • Number of deaths this morning was 385, up from 285 yesterday.
  • We expect the numbers to increase further.
  • As of this morning, there were 21,393 positives in New York City.
  • 37,258 people in New York state have tested positive.
  • 5,327 people are currently hospitalized.
  • 1,290 people are currently in the ICU.
  • 1,517 patients have been discharged.

PERSONAL OPINIONS

  • He says they are praying for Louisiana, which has a new cluster in New Orleans. He says we stand ready to help them however we can.
  • He says the outpouring of support from all over the world to New York has been inspiring.
  • The number of medical staff who have volunteered is over 40,000 people.
  • We now have over 8,600 mental health professionals who have volunteered to help people during this time as well.
  • “This is not a sprint. This is a marathon.”

QUESTIONS

  • QUESTION: Where are the stockpiles of ventilators?
  • CUOMO: We have stockpiles on ventilators all over the state, we are talking to the federal government about getting more.
  • QUESTION: What do you think about the projections today versus yesterday?
  • CUOMO: We’re going to have day to day fluctuations.
  • QUESTION: We have heard about shortages of PPE at a local level, what do you say about that?
  • CUOMO: That could be a distribution problem, but we are currently being assured that we have enough for the immediate need.
  • QUESTION: How will you cope with this loss of revenue?
  • CUOMO: It’s a changing situation, and we’re all going to have to deal with the reality of the situation.
  • QUOTE FROM CUOMO: “I was shocked that they were so irresponsible in addressing the state and the city needs. I mean, I never believed that they would just pass a piece of legislation that didn’t address it. You know, they just did not address the revenue shortfall.”
  • QUOTE FROM CUOMO: “You know, they know we have to fund education. They’ll all say in their speeches education, education… it’s our children’s future. And then they do absolutely nothing in the legislation. So, I just want to keep it in check. You know, emotion is a luxury. We don’t have that luxury right now.”
  • QUESTION: What about gig workers?
  • CUOMO: It’s a complicated issue. He does not believe there will be enough time to resolve outstanding issues with the gig economy.
  • MY PERSONAL OPINION: I don’t know what that last question means.
  • QUESTION: When will we need to start moving patients from downstate to upstate?
  • CUOMO: Only as a last result.
  • QUESTION: Do you plan on banning people from leaving New York City from coming upstate to slow the spread?
  • CUOMO: No. We’re not doing that,
  • QUESTION: How many days until we run out of ventilators?
  • CUOMO: We do not have an estimate for that, and we hope to not need one,
  • QUESTION: Why are construction workers considered essential?
  • CUOMO: We are looking at that.
  • QUESTION: What’s your message to people who have lost their jobs?
  • CUOMO: We have all lost our jobs. It’s not anyone’s fault. It’s all of us. But, we are not alone.

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