Andrew Cuomo New York City New York State

Press conference with New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo (3/31/20)

In today’s press conference, Governor Cuomo comes to us live from Albany, New York. The big headlines today are that his much beloved brother, Chris “NEWS BAE” Cuomo, has contracted that Coronavirus, and that FEMA has effectively made it impossible for the states to buy anymore ventilators on their own. What? You all don’t call Chris “news bae”? That’s just me? Ah well, whatever. Enjoy the notes!


  • The number of cases continues to go up. We are still in search of the apex of this curve.
  • 205,186 have been tested in New York state so far. 18,645 tests were done yesterday.
  • 89,197 tests have been done in New York City alone. 9,892 of those tests were done yesterday.
  • 17,795 people have tested positive so far in New York State. 9,298 people tested positive yesterday.
  • 43,139 people have tested positive in New York City. 5,686 people tested positive yesterday.
  • He says there are two counties without a case, but the map only shows one county without a case. I think he’s getting tired, which is completely understandable.
  • We have 10,929 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19. That number is up 1,412 people since yesterday.
  • We have 2,710 ICU patients (a patient on a ventilator). That number is up 358 since yesterday.
  • 4, 975 patients have been discharged so far.
  • 771 people were discharged yesterday. ❤
  • He coughed!!!! NOOOOO!!!!
  • New York State still has the most cases in the country. We are followed by New Jersey (16,636 cases/199 deaths), California (7,421 cases/146 deaths), Michigan (6,508 cases/197 deaths), and Massachusetts (5,752 cases/61 deaths).
  • New York State has had 1,550 deaths so far.
  • 332 people died from COVID-19 in New York yesterday.
  • Yesterday we had the most hospitalizations we have had so far.
  • The number of intubations was down slightly from yesterday by 8 people.
  • The number of people discharged went up yesterday from the number of people discharged the day before.
  • We are continuing to pursue our two missions: helping to fight this battle on the frontlines at the hospitals, and practicing good social responsibility by staying at home.
  • PERSONAL NOTE: I hear coughing outside my window right now. Please stay indoors!
  • They are continuing to follow the projections of experts.
  • They are continuing to procure equipment.
  • They are continuing to identify beds.
  • We need to find more ways to support our medical staff.
  • He says “I am tired of being behind the virus.” He says we knew about this virus, and we should have been preparing for it to come here. However, no one prepared and now we are playing catch up. And, as he says, “you don’t win playing catch up”.
  • QUOTE: “The second rule to never underestimate your opponent, and we underestimated this virus. It’s more powerful, it’s more dangerous than we expected.”
  • He says we must plan forward and get ahead of this and plan for the next battle. The next battle will be the apex of this curve.
  • He reminds everyone that this is the whole point of creating a stockpile. Maybe we don’t need everything now, but we will most certainly need it in a week.
  • He says New York’s Apex could be anywhere from 14 days to 30 days away. Mayor De Blasio here in NYC keeps saying that our make or break day is Sunday, but De Blasio is never as clear in his reasoning as Cuomo, so I’m not exactly sure what he means by that or where he got his information. Cuomo and De Blasio seem to disagree about quite a few things in this crisis.
  • He continues on that we need a social acceptance of the time expectations involved here. We’re all anxious, and tired, and fatigued. Everyone wants to know, when is it over? He says “nobody knows”.
  • Although no one can tell us when this will end, Governor Cuomo says he can promise you this… it won’t be ending soon.
  • Yesterday he met with the entire state’s hospital system. Everyone has agreed to work together, starting now.
  • There are about 160 private hospitals in New York City, and 11 public hospitals.
  • The 11 public hospitals have always been under the greatest stress, and had the greatest need.
  • PERSONAL NOTE: Having been to the ER at Bellevue many times myself because of my chronic health problems, I can confirm this. It is not uncommon to wait hours to get into the ER at Bellevue, nor is it uncommon for them to be so overcrowded that patients are left in hallways, ON A REGULAR DAY. That said, our public hospitals are amazing institutions, and you will never hear me give them anything but praise for the care they have given me over the years.
  • We must break the barriers between these two systems in New York City and operate as one.
  • We also have to end the distinctions between upstate and downstate hospitals and be more flexible about where patients are sent.
  • He says “We know today where we must focus. Our stressed hospitals have the least capacity to handle an additional load.”
  • This is what we’ve been seeing at Elmhurst hospital. It is a public hospital, in a place with a dense population, and it got overwhelmed. That can’t happen going forward.
  • QUOTE: “People said Elmhurst isn’t my responsibility. Elmhurst is a public hospital. The city runs it. I don’t run it. It’s New York City. It’s not a private hospital. I don’t care which link breaks in the chain. The chain is still broken. It doesn’t matter which hospital, which link… if ANY link breaks, the chain breaks. The healthcare system is a chain. It breaks anywhere, it breaks everywhere. That has to be our mentality.”
  • They developed a comprehensive plan for shifting patients and resources, and New York hospitals will be pooling supplies.
  • The projections say we will need between 20,000 and 40,000 ventilators. Here is what we have so far.
  • 6,500 ventilators are already downstate.
  • 4,400 ventilators are in stockpiles from the Federal Government.
  • 800 ventilators are in a state stockpile.
  • 1,000 ventilators have already been distributed from the state stockpile.
  • The state has ordered an additional 17,000 ventilators, and the note by it says “3 weeks).
  • 2,750 BiPAP machines have been ordered. A BiPAP machine is similar to a CPAP machine, and is usually used by people who have sleep apnea to ensure they can breathe throughout the night.
  • For those of you keeping score at home, all of those numbers come to a total of 32,450 ventilators. I think our success here will come down to how fast the ventilators the state ordered get here. But, overall, I am really impressed with how many ventilators Cuomo and company were able to find!
  • They are also still looking at splitting ventilators between two patients.
  • He says he spoke to the president, the vice president, and Jared Kushner yesterday, and that they were very helpful.
  • PPE will also be stockpiled and shared fairly.
  • He says he thinks this will end when we have a 15 minute at home test that will allow people to know if it’s safe to go back to work yet.
  • They are still testing new medications, and working on saliva, antibody and plasma tests as well.
  • They now have a central coordinating team run by the department of health. He adds “if the federal government is going to participate, they have to be part of this team because we have to know what we’re doing, and I don’t want FEMA coming in and blowing the coordination of what everyone is trying to do.”
  • The coordinating team is going to arrange upstate/downstate transfers, and set patient loads for hospitals. So, if one hospital gets up to or near their capacity, those hospitals can start to send patients to other hospitals before they get up to their max.
  • Most importantly… STAY AT HOME.
  • QUOTE: “I know it’s hard to stay at home, and I know everyone thinks I can go out, and I can be smart, and I won’t get it infected because… it’s me! I’m a superhero. It’s not gonna be me. That is not true. And it’s not just about you. It’s not just about your health, and your life that you’re playing with here, my friend. You can infect other people.”
  • QUOTE: “Everyone is subject to this virus. It is the great equalizer.”
  • Chris Cuomo has tested positive. NOOOOOOO!!! He found out this morning. I have worked many upfront events for CNN in the past, and I’ve met Chris a couple times. He’s always very personable and nice, and he’s a great news anchor. I am praying for him!
  • QUOTE: “He is going to be fine. He’s young, in good shape, uh… strong… not as strong as he thinks, but… uh, he will be fine.” LOL, I love these two so much!
  • If Chris Cuomo can get it, you all can too. So, think twice before you go outside.
  • Chris is quarantined in his basement at home. He’s mostly worried about his kids, and hoping he didn’t get them infected.
  • QUOTE: “You don’t really know Chris. You know, you see Chris on the show at night, 9 o’clock on CNN. But, you just see one dimension, right? You see a person in his job, and in his job, he’s combative, and he’s argumentative, and he’s pushing people… but, that’s his job. That’s really not who he is. He’s a really sweet, beautiful guy. And he’s my best friend. My father was always working, so it was always just me and Chris. And he’s a lawyer also, Chris. He’s a lawyer because growing up, the decision point came to what do you want to do after college? And my father was a very strong personality. And my father basically suggested forcefully to Chris that he should be a lawyer. It was a different time, and a different place, ya know? Now my daughters, Cara who’s here, they all follow their individual stars. This is their destiny, which is right. If you had said to my father ‘I want to follow my individual star’, he would say you can follow your individual star right out that door. So, Chris went to law school. But, he never really had a desire to practice law. He calls me when he’s about 26, he’s at a law firm, and he said ‘you know, I don’t want to be a lawyer’. I said ‘ yeah, I know, but you are now a lawyer. You are.’ He said ‘yeah, but I don’t want to be a lawyer’. I said ‘what do you want to be?’. He said ‘I want to be a journalist.’. I said ‘you want to be a journalist?’ I said ‘it’s too late. You’re a lawyer. You have to pay law school bills. You didn’t go to journalism school. It’s too late,’ ‘No, no, I think I can do it’ and God bless him, he quit the law firm, went to work for Fox TV, which is a whole separate conversation in the house, and then worked his way up. He’s at CNN. He does a beautiful job. But… a sweet guy. And now he’s quarantined in the basement, but he’s funny as heck. He says to me ‘even the dogs won’t come downstairs’. Soooo… But he is concerned about his wife and his kids.”
  • Yes, I took down the whole quote for y’all because I love this family so much. If you haven’t watched Chris and Andrew together on CNN, please look it up. They are hilarious! I would pay to watch a thanksgiving special about those two!
  • He says their mother was at “CHRISTOPHER”’s house two weeks ago, and that was a mistake. He went for his full government first name there! That’s how you know who the big brother is. Haha
  • “Matilda’s law” is named for their mother. This law covers all of our social distancing protocols.
  • He says there is nothing that we have learned that is different since we started doing these briefings.
  • In my mind, I saw a supercut to a shot of Trump saying “WE’VE LEARNED SO MUCH” every night during his briefings, and got a good laugh out of that.
  • QUOTE: “We know what we have to do. We just have to do it.”
  • He said to FEMA “you have to learn how to do your job, and you have to do it quickly”.
  • New York will happily share our resources and knowledge with the next cities to be hit. He names Detroit and New Orleans as next.
  • He says if we were smart as a nation, we would be sending help here first and then passing it along in a wave from hotspot to hotspot. The key word here, in my opinion, is IF.
  • We need to put politics aside and all work together.


  • QUESTION: How many healthcare workers are on the ground right now?
  • CUOMO: The problem is that healthcare workers are working too much. We have 78,000 people who have volunteered to come out of retirement to help. We are sorting those people out to different locations now.
  • JIM MALATRAS: We are launching an online portal to help assign those folks today. We have about 175 people working on background checks to make sure we have the right people for the right job, and we expect to have some of those people out by Thursday.
  • QUESTION: Do you have any new projections as to when the apex might hit in New York City and the state as a whole?
  • CUOMO: We have five models that we look at, and no two are the same. The range on the apex is somewhere between 7 to 21 days. There are a lot of variables they’re looking at. The number of beds we’ll need also varies a lot, as do the projections on ventilators.
  • QUESTION: You mandated that hospitals increase capacity by 50%, do you anticipate needing to enforce that mandate in order to get them to do that.
  • CUOMO: The hospitals have been cooperative. They’ve all added 50% capacity. We’re also mandating that the hospitals share their supplies. He does not anticipate that being a problem either. The problem will be maintaining capacities, because all of our hospitals will be weighted down now.
  • QUESTION: So the newest mandate your adding will allow you to demand private hospitals take patients from public hospitals when the public hospitals get overloaded?
  • CUOMO: Yes. Before this week, there was no system to help a hospital that had become overloaded. Now there is. It’s never been done before.
  • QUESTION: Are New York City patients being transferred to upstate hospitals yet?
  • CUOMO: No. First, we’re going to try to bring upstate staff down to NYC. Sending patients upstate is the worst case scenario.
  • QUESTION: Who’s paying for all this?
  • CUOMO: All of the transfers are voluntary. But, we’re all paying the cost. The hospitals are paying the cost. The state is paying the cost. Frankly, we’ll figure out the cost later. He says “who pays the bill should not determine who lives and dies”.
  • How many active ICU beds do you have now?
  • CUOMO: He gives us an answer about the “3 weeks” note I mentioned earlier! QUOTE: “we have ORDERED 17,000 [ventilators] from China. That we would pay for, roughly $25,000 each. By the way, anyone who says ‘oh maybe you don’t need that many ventilators. You don’t need that many. You don’t really believe you need that many.’ You know how you know I really believe that number? Because we are paying $25k per ventilator, and we are broke. And the last thing I want to do is buy a single ventilator that I don’t need. The complexity with ventilators is we ordered 17,000 from China,  so did California, so did Illinois, so did the federal government, so did Italy. And what’s happening is, China… the orders into China are very slow coming out. Exactly how and why, we’re not sure. It’s just that they have such a tremendous demand. Of the 17,000, we only have a firm expectation on 2,500. We only have a firm expectation on 2,500.”
  • QUESTION: When are the rest supposed to come in?
  • CUOMO: They’re supposed to come in over the next two weeks.
  • QUESTION: Will they come in time for the apex?
  • CUOMO: Obviously, that depends on if the apex is in seven days or 21 days. He says when people look back on this situation, people will talk about how ridiculous this situation is. He says it’s like being on Ebay against 50+ aggressive people all bidding for the same item. He says “and now FEMA is bidding on top of the states. So, now FEMA is driving up the price! What sense does this make???”
  • QUESTION: How do non coronavirus emergencies factor into this new system?
  • CUOMO: QUOTE “We’re learning things here that… it’s not that we’re learning things here. ANYONE could have told you a lot of these things, right? The situation I just explained with purchasing, did you really have to learn that 50 states shouldn’t compete against 50 states? And then FEMA shouldn’t come in late, and then compete with 50 states? Eh, you know, it’s not that you had to go to the Harvard Kennedy school to learn this, right? Should you really have a hospital system in New York state where you have private hospitals, you have these struggling public hospitals… there’s two separate systems… the upstate is separate, long island is separate… shouldn’t you have planned a comprehensive system? YES, but the commercial barriers to that, the political barriers to that, were so intense that if you didn’t have a disaster, an emergency, you couldn’t break through them. The conversation I had with these hospital leaders yesterday in that room, if it was not for the coronavirus, I would have never made it out of that room. I mean, what I was saying was so antithetical to the foundation of the business of healthcare in this state, which by the way is a multi-billion dollar business… it’s right, it was common sense, but sometimes you need the emergency to force change that would be very, very difficult otherwise.”
  • QUESTION: OK, but what about non coronavirus patients?
  • DR. ZUCKER: The new system is working on all those areas as well. Other emergencies are getting taken care of as well.
  • QUESTION: You have said that we will send ventilators to other hotspots, but there are questions about when that will be. Comments?
  • CUOMO: How do we know our peak will end before Chicagos? We don’t know that. So, it can be that we literally have all of the equipment, and then pass it along when we’re done. But, in essence, we do know that we will eventually be able to send stuff on, and what I’m saying is that if we can help somebody else with our supplies, we’re going to help somebody else.
  • QUESTION: Are you worried about staffing?
  • CUOMO: Yes. If you are out there working on the frontlines, your chance of getting infected is very high.
  • QUESTION: The other day you talked about forming a buy consortium with states. Is that still possible? 
  • CUOMO: QUOTE “What’s happening is that it is almost impossible to buy a ventilator. To the extent that anyone is successful in buying ventilators, FEMA basically came in and is now capturing the market. Because the ventilators are coming out of China, and FEMA basically bigfooted the states in China. So, to the extent that anyone is buying it, it’s FEMA. And that’s why the federal distribution is going to be so important, because they are the only ones. I can’t buy a ventilator. I can’t buy a ventilator. Whatever we’re willing to pay, I can’t buy a ventilator. So, it really comes down to how the federal government distributes it, and that’s why it’s so important.
  • QUESTION: What happens when we run out of ventilators? How do we decide who gets them?
  • CUOMO: He says he doesn’t even want to think about that.
  • QUESTION: Do you plan on signing an extension bill so that government employees will be paid on time?
  • CUOMO: He says he plans on signing a budget.
  • ROBERT MUJICA: He says all state employees will get paid tomorrow. It has nothing to do with the budget.
  • CUOMO: We have never not paid state employees.
  • QUESTION: What’s the update on the budget?
  • CUOMO: No update! He says “see how easy that was?” lol
  • QUESTION: What options are left to the state?
  • CUOMO: We do a budget based on the projections we now have, and if we don’t get enough funds we reduce the allocations we have.
  • QUESTION: Do you think the unemployment system is working as smoothly as you would like to see it?
  • CUOMO: No, it is not. It’s compounding people’s stress.
  • PERSONAL NOTE: CAN CONFIRM! It has been very difficult to even get on the damn website!
  • CUOMO: He says they have hundreds of people working on it, and he apologizes for all of the issues.
  • ROBERT MUJICA: He says they usually get 50,000 calls a week. Yesterday, JUST YESTERDAY, they got 1.2 MILLION calls. Last week, they had 7.8 million calls.
  • QUESTION: People have tested positive for the virus in our prison system, but the state is not saying where they are. Comment?
  • CUOMO: I’ve never heard that.
  • QUESTION: Do any of the rent relief bills extend to businesses?
  • CUOMO: Yes, we extended it to commercial. No one can be evicted for three months. He goes on to say that his daughters have also stopped paying him, and he thinks they are just taking advantage of the system. LOL!
  • QUESTION: There are reports that a minor died of the virus in New York. Can you give us any details? Did they have an underlying condition?
  • DR. ZUCKER: Yes, they did have an underlying condition. He says he can’t share it because of patient confidentiality laws.
  • QUESTION: Will we see any bail reform in the state?
  • CUOMO: It’s something we have to get done.
  • QUESTION: What happens at the end of three months when everyone owes several months of rent?
  • CUOMO: We’ll deal with that when we get there.
  • QUESTION: What happened with the budget?
  • CUOMO: He says only god can assign blame, we can only deal with reality.

As I wrap this recap up, I can hear a symphony of ambulance sirens outside my window. The apex is still yet to come.


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