Categories
Bill De Blasio New York City

Mayor Bill De Blasio welcomes the USNS Comfort to New York City

Today New York City welcomed an iconic symbol of hope and perseverance into our harbor. Mayor Bill De Blasio went live from the dock to share this important moment with the people of our city in our most vulnerable time. We all thank the United States Navy for sharing their expertise and kindness with us, and pray that they will be successful in their most sacred mission here in our waters.

Photo of the USNS ship taken by my friend Cole Ippoliti from his apartment.
Cole is a fantastic professional photographer, and you can find more of his work on his instagram @colecoldwater.
You can also check him out at http://www.colecoldwater.com
Thank you for allowing me to share your pictures, Cole!

BILL DE BLASIO

  • The USNS Comfort arrived in New York harbor this morning, bringing with it medical supplies, personnel and a renewed spirit to the city in our hour of need.
  • This means the world to us here in New York City, and we thank the nation for sending us this aid.
  • In the past week, many New Yorkers have felt alone in this fight. But, the arrival of the USNS Comfort is a strong reminder that we are not alone. Our nation is helping us. We are not forgotten.
  • We may have differences during peacetime, but we are now at war. We need to act like it, and work together. So, with that in mind, we say thank you to Donald Trump, Mark Esper, FEMA, and of course, The United States Navy.
  • Thank you to Governor Cuomo, and everyone in our local government who helped to make this happen.
  • It was supposed to take two weeks to bring this ship here, but they did it 8 days. This incredible effort will save lives and make a real difference in our fight against the virus.
  • With this ship comes 1,200 medical staff, and 750 beds we can use immediately.
  • We need to triple our city’s hospital bed capacity by the end of May.
  • This ship is like adding an entire hospital in one day.
  • From this New Yorker, I would like all of you to know that I am grateful.
  • Thank you to all of the companies, and private citizens who have given us help. We appreciate you.
  • When the battle is done here, New York City will send help to the rest of our nation. We promise to look after the rest of our country, as you have looked after us today.
  • We’ve reached my favorite part now… A FEW WORDS IN SPANISH.
  • “No estamos solos!” ❤

REGIONAL HEAD OF FEMA, THOMAS VON ESSEN

  • Two weeks ago, they moved their team down to New Jersey on a naval base.
  • They have about 30 – 35 people working there now, working everyday to make sure that New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and The Virgin Islands have what we need. (these are the areas covered by region 2 at FEMA)
  • QUOTE: “I was driving on east river drive, and I looked across by 14th street and I had a flashback to the morning I was driving in and they told me a small plane had crashed into the trade center. And life changed at that time. And I remember the Comfort come then, I don’t remember when, a couple of weeks later or whatever… and we didn’t need it for what we need it for today. We didn’t need it for people who needed hospital care. It wasn’t necessary, but we brought it in. We needed it for crisis counseling for a lot of fire chiefs and police officers who were really, really overcome with the grief, and the death that they faced with their friends and the people that they worked with. And we needed it to house federal workers, and give them food and everything. And then we got it out of here, and we started putting them in hotel rooms. But, I’ll never forget the feeling. I talked about it this morning, the names are perfect… The Comfort and The Mercy. I was told they were here in 1918 for the pandemic we had then. Not these particular ships, but their predecessors. The federal government has always been here; the army, the navy, the marines… they’ve always been here for us when we needed them, and they’re here again for you now. And for me… the flashbacks I get, knowing that the city is under such stress now, it’s real personal for me. The fire department, I spent 30 years in it. So, when September 11th happened, it was personal. It was friends. It was leaders, people I had worked with… everybody was affected by September 11th, and that’s what’s happening now. Everybody you know is affected by the coronavirus in one way or another. A friend, a relative, a loved one that you can’t go and see because they’re in quarantine, or you don’t want to… I mean, I stopped to see a hundred year old lady last week, and just, you know, talked to her from six feet away. And I know everybody’s doing that. But, it’s important. This is a big time visible sign of what our government is like when we put it into action. And the mayor said it, and I’m really proud to be part of it now.”
  • PERSONAL NOTE: I decided to transcribe his whole quote because nothing hits me right in the heart quite like 9/11 survival stories. I am always in awe of the strength of this city when I hear people speak about that day. I moved to New York City in 2004, so I do not have firsthand experience from that tragedy. But, so many people I care about did have firsthand experience. It is a shared trauma that I will always have the utmost respect and sympathy for. I have been a New Yorker for 16 years, my entire adult life, but I will never know the pain that some of my fellow New Yorkers went through that day. Now New York City stands ready to brace for another terrible event, and I just hope to be even a tenth as brave as the people I know who survived 9/11 and went on to rebuild their lives. As a survivor once told me over at the Oculus, “victory over terror is being able to come back to the place you were attacked and say FUCK YOU, I’M STILL HERE.”. Those are words to live by, said in the most New York way possible.
  • We need to be together, but six feet apart.

REAR ADMIRAL JOHN MUSTIN

  • Thank you to everyone who made this happen in record time.
  • Not all of our heroes wear military uniforms, many of them wear scrubs.
  • Like her sister ship The USNS Mercy, which is now docked in Los Angeles, the USNS Comfort will be here to support this city.
  • As a New Yorker, he is proud to be a part of this mission.

QUESTIONS

  • QUESTION: There has been a lot of concern about the budget up in Albany, do you have concerns about it?
  • DE BLASIO: Yes. We need money for healthcare. We cannot afford medicaid cuts during this dire moment, and he says the state must accept the medicaid funding that was in the third stimulus bill. So, basically, he totally disagrees with Cuomo’s take on this. He says that he is also in the middle of finding places to cut the budget for the city, but he absolutely will not cut funding to healthcare. He urges the state not to cut medicaid.
  • PERSONAL NOTE: As I mentioned in a previous post, I am a longtime patient at Bellevue. When I first moved to New York, I was 19 years old. I came here on a greyhound from Detroit, Michigan, with just a backpack and a duffel bag to my name. I didn’t know anyone here, and I didn’t have any help. I moved around a lot in the first year, and I remember being so poor that I sometimes couldn’t afford food. But, I made amazing friends along the way, and one of them gave me a piece of advice that I never forgot. She said “if you ever get really sick and you feel like you’re going to die, go to Bellevue. It’s a public hospital, and they will take care of you even if you can’t pay the bill.” Flash forward about a decade later, and I found myself with a viral infection that had swollen my throat to the point that I could not comfortably take in air. Rather than calling for an ambulance, I dragged myself over to Bellevue. When I got to the triage, I was in such bad shape that I fell over on the floor gasping for air. I will never forget that moment because, as I was being lifted onto the stretcher, I heard some man yell from the other side of the triage area “SHE DIDN’T EVEN WAIT IN THE LINE!”. I remember wanting to laugh before briefly passing out. I had a temperature of 104, and I ended up being in the ICU for a week. When all was said and done, I received a bill for $30,000. I came back to the hospital in tears because the illness had cost me so much time away from my job that there was no way I could pay it. They talked me down to just $150 for the entire stay. I could not be more grateful for this city and the care that we give our people.
  • QUESTION: What kind of services will this ship provide, and how will it be decided who goes here?
  • DE BLASIO: Intensive care units used to be a small part of our hospitals, now we are faced with a situation where every hospital bed in our city’s hospitals needs to be an ICU bed. After we’ve done that, what happens to everyone else who doesn’t need intensive care? We have to have hospitals for them too. This ship and the Javits Center will provide all of those other patients with a place to go.
  • REAR ADMIRAL MUSTIN: We’ve been working with the local hospitals to make sure we have a process in place, and the hospitals will determine who would be best to send here.
  • QUESTIONS: Will families be able to visit sick relatives on The Comfort?
  • DE BLASIO: We are still working that out.
  • QUESTION: Why are the playgrounds still open?
  • DE BLASIO: We are working on this issue with the state, and there is no uniform standard on this. He says that the police are now authorized to give fines to people who do not comply with social distancing, and that the police think most people are in fact complying. This is another thing he disagrees with Cuomo about. If people do not stop playing sports, he says they will remove the basketball rims and the tennis nets.
  • QUESTION: Do you have any predictions about the death toll in New York City?
  • DE BLASIO: We assume at least half of all New Yorkers will contract this virus. We know 80% of people who get it do fine without intervention. We will see a horrible increase in the number of deaths though, and he says he has been honest that this will continue to get worse all month.
  • QUESTION: What are our morituary logistics?
  • VON ESSEN: We have many refrigerated trucks, and we are asking for federal aid for more solutions to this problem.
  • QUESTION: How much more help does New York City need? How many more places like the Comfort would it take?
  • DE BLASIO: The Comfort could hold up to 1,000 beds. To get New York to what we are projected to need, we would need about 40 more locations of this size. We believe we can get there.
  • QUESTION: Are you distributing supplies to private hospitals as well?
  • DE BLASIO: Yes. We are all sharing.
  • QUESTION: How are you getting COVID patients to the Comfort?
  • ME: PAY ATTENTION! THE SHIP ISN’T FOR COVID PATIENTS! UGH! It’s like I’m back on a training call at work and everyone is asking stupid questions about things that were covered in the power point. Lol
  • QUESTION: Do you support allowing people to use their security deposit as a current month’s rent?
  • DE BLASIO: Yes, I support that. It will require state intervention though.
  • QUESTION: Where are we at with PPE?
  • DE BLASIO: This week, we are fine. That may change down the road. The thing we are worried about now is Ventilators. We are still very concerned about making it to April 5th.
  • QUESTION: You said you will need to cut 1.3 billion from the budget, has that changed?
  • DE BLASIO: Yes, that number will go up.
  • QUESTION: Will patients on The Comfort have to pay their medical bills as usual? Or will this be paid for by the federal government?
  • REAR ADMIRAL MUSTIN: We are not checking for insurance cards, nor were we instructed to send bills. Our mission here is to help patients.
  • QUESTION: Will patients start coming today?
  • REAR ADMIRAL MUSTIN: The ship is still being docked, and patients will start coming tomorrow.

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Please consider donating a few dollars to help keep it going. Transcribing and recapping these press conferences is extremely time consuming. I do it because I passionately believe that everyone should stay informed, but it is undeniably a lot of work. If you would like to help me continue what I’m doing with this website, or just help to make sure I can afford food during this pandemic, please consider sending me a donation. I accept any amount, no matter how much, through Venmo (@Amydetriotgirl), Cashapp (@$carbetarian) and PayPal (Carbetarian@gmail.com). Anything you can give will be appreciated!

Categories
Andrew Cuomo New York City New York State

Press conference with New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo (3/30/20)

LIVE FROM THE JAVITS CENTER!

ANDREW CUOMO

  • Happy National Doctor’s Day! We honor and thank all of the doctors who have fought to save lives today. They are true heroes.
  • Unlike in Trump’s speech last night, Cuomo acknowledges the fantastic staff at the Javits Center who routinely completely transform this building for trade shows under normal circumstances. This is important to note, because when Donald speaks about it you would think the federal government built the entire building from the ground up in four days. The work the federal team did on the Javits Center is phenomenal and entirely worthy of praise, but a lot of the credit that Donald forgets to hand out belongs to the local staff at the Javits Center who flip this building for trade shows all the time. Since I have worked with those people many times at the Javits in the past, I would like to take this time to say THANK YOU to the Javits staff! As Governor Cuomo says, they always do an amazing job, but this time we are really all blown away by what they have accomplished. FEMA and The Army Corps of Engineers deserve a ton of thanks as well, but let’s not forget the very real contributions of regular New Yorkers. Keep on kicking ass, New York city event professionals!
  • Again, for those of you who are not familiar with The Javits Center, I would like to give you a little more perspective on this. Here are some comparison pictures of The Javits Center over the years.
Today’s press conference vs New York Comic Con in 2019
A before and After of the inside of Javits Center’s main exhibition hall. (photo credit for the after photo unknown)
No one completes a breakdown after a large show like the crew at Javits! The second the show floor closes, the forklifts are out and everything comes down immediately. I always joke that you get exactly one warning to clear the floor before they run you over.
You see some fun things during event set up sometimes. I understand why you can’t carpet a hospital floor, but man that floor is brutal without it. Trust me, every brand ambassador, promo model, product specialist and event producer feels for those doctors and their feet right now. We’ve been there too!
Cosplayers taking a break by the bathrooms at New York Comic Con.
  • Javits now has 2,500 beds. WOW! It’s eerie for me to see this on a personal level, but it is inspiring to see what a remarkable job they did.
  • Javits will see it’s first patients TODAY.
  • In terms of the number of cases, the curve continues to go up.
  • At the time of the press conference, New York State had over 60,000 positive cases.
  • There is now only one county in New York that does not have the virus.
  • QUOTE: “Anyone who says this is a New York City only situation is in a state of denial.”
  • QUOTE: “There is no American that is immune to this virus.”
  • QUOTE: “In many ways, New York is just the canary in the coal mine. What you see us going through here, you will see happening all across this country.”
  • Part of what we hope will happen in New York, is that we will be able to learn lessons from this that we will then be able to share across the nation.
  • The exact numbers for today in New York: We have had 66,497 positive cases. 9,517 people are currently hospitalized. 2,352 of those patients are in the ICU. 4,204 patients have been discharged.
  • 632 people were discharged yesterday.
  • 1,218 people have died in New York so far.
  • New York remains the most impacted state.
  • Rounding out the top five behind us: New Jersey (13,386 positives/161 deaths), California (6,266 positives/130 deaths), Michigan (5,472 positives/132 deaths), and Massachusetts (4,955 positives/48 deaths).
  • For perspective, our problem is 10 times worse than California, and we have a much smaller population as a state than they do. (39 million in California vs 19 million in New York)
  • 253 New Yorkers died yesterday.
  • There have now been 732,153 cases of COVID-19 worldwide.
  • For perspective, New York State now makes up 9% of all reported cases worldwide.
  • Hospitalizations went down slightly yesterday from the day before.
  • Cases are now doubling every six days, which has slowed from our highest rate of doubling last week.
  • The number of people discharged yesterday was slightly lower than the day before.
  • The situation is painfully clear. There is no question that we will face grief and a loss of life. Going forward, we must focus on two missions.
  • Number one: public responsibility. Stay home. Do not engage in close proximity to others. Do not crowd together in dense groups. He is not telling us that it would be nice if we stay home, he is telling us that we NEED to stay at home. Just stay home!
  • New Yorkers have not been complying with the density rules in the parks, so he is considering closing them. This is exactly why we can’t have nice things, y’all! He’s been telling us to act right FOR A WEEK. I get that it sucks to be locked up in a tiny New York City apartment, but would you rather be fighting for a space at a hospital and in the position of hoping that we can convince President Velveeta over in the White House to send you a ventilator fast enough to save your life? I THINK NOT. There ain’t no basketball game worth that! So, stop acting like boo boo the fool and stay your ass inside! It ain’t that hard!
  • Number two: The front-line battle is in our hospital system. We have to continue to support our healthcare system. We’ve done everything we can do to social distance and flatten the curve, and now the time has come for us to make sure we do everything we can not to overwhelm our healthcare system. We need to recruit more healthcare workers. We need to share healthcare professionals both within the states, and among the states. We need to support our “troops”. We are begging the surrounding states to send help. We will return the favor when our curve passes, but we need help now. Please, please if you are a healthcare professional who can help, we need you!
  • We also need supplies desperately, contrary to whatever that idiot in DC is saying.
  • We are now in a situation where all of the states are competing for supplies against one another, in addition to competing with the federal government and individual private hospitals. This is honestly a horror movie scenario that I never expected to see in real life. Welcome to The Hunger Games, basically.
  • The price of ventilators skyrocketed from around $20k to over $50k “IF YOU CAN FIND THEM”.
  • The ventilators have not changed, the prices have gone up because everyone is outbidding each other.
  • We have been trying to plan forward here in New York. That is why we have been asking for more supplies and preparing stockpiles, DONALD.
  • QUOTE: “The word stockpile by definition means not for immediate use! It means you’re preparing for a battle to come.”
  • QUOTE: “If you wait to prepare for the storm to hit, it is too late my friends.”
  • Here in New York, we have been following the science and the data. We believe in following the advice of experts, and that is why we are planning ahead.
  • They just had “a great meeting with the entire statewide healthcare establishment”. Not just with public hospitals, or local hospitals, but with the entire hospital system in New York.
  • They have now convened, coordinated, and are working as one for the first time in decades.
  • Why? Because this is a statewide battle, and we all need to work together to save lives.
  • QUOTE: “No politics. No partisanship. No division. There is no time for that. Not in this state, not in this nation. This is a deadly serious situation, and frankly it’s more important than politics, and it’s more important than partisanship. And if there is division at this time, the virus will defeat us. If there was ever a moment for unity, this my friends is the moment.”
  • QUOTE: “In this situation, there are no red states and there are no blue states, and there are no red casualties and there are no blue casualties. It’s red, white and blue. This virus doesn’t discriminate. It attacks everyone, and it attacks everywhere.”
  • QUOTE: “The president said this is a war, and I agree with that. This is a war. Then, let’s act that way. And let’s act that way now! And let’s show a commonality, and a mutuality, and a UNITY that this country hasn’t seen in decades. Because the lord knows we need it, today more than ever before.

QUESTIONS

  • QUESTION: (paraphrasing) Trump caught a bad case of verbal diarrhea last night and accused New York of sneaking PPE out the back door. What do you have to say about that?
  • CUOMO: (paraphrasing in my own words) I HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THE STOCKPILES SINCE DAY ONE, IT’S CALLED PREPARING YOU DAMN FOOL.
  • CUOMO: QUOTE “You have the scientists and the data projections showing you a curve. The curve is like this, and you’re over here. Prepare for the high point of the curve! AND DO IT NOW! When are you gonna do it, the night before? What am I gonna tell the hospitals when they call up and they say we just had an influx of 50% more people, and we need more equipment and we need more ventilators? SORRY???”
  • CUOMO: QUOTE “In terms of a suggestion that the PPE equipment is not going to a correct place, I don’t know what that means. I don’t know what he’s trying to say. If he wants to make an accusation, then let him make an accusation. But, I don’t know what he’s trying to say by inference.”
  • QUESTION: ????? (GET A MIC RUNNER!)
  • CUOMO: In New York City, we have a public and private hospital system. In this situation, they will have to be balanced in a way they have never been before in order to better distribute the patients. We need to do this now. We have discussed it, and we are going to do it. There are no legal barriers. The public system will face the greatest stress. If a public hospital starts to get overloaded, we need to be able to send patients to any other hospital that can handle that extra load.
  • KEN RASKE: The hospitals are going to work as one cohesive family system throughout New York. They will be a balanced system.
  • QUESTION: How will patients be shifted to places like the Javits Center?
  • CUOMO: Javits and the naval hospital ship (the USNS Comfort) will be handling patients who DO NOT have COVID-19. He asked the federal government to make Javits and the ship available for COVID patients, but they only wanted non COVID patients at these locations. This means their function will basically be as an overflow location for existing hospitals to send their regular patients.
  • NOTE FROM ME: I understand this in theory, but I think this won’t end well. Are you telling me that in a field hospital with 2,500 beds not one of those patients, doctors or nurses will have this virus? That seems like wishful thinking to me. All it will take is one person coming in with the virus, even unknowingly, and suddenly the whole hospital is sick. Also, it seems like a poor allocation of resources to me.
  • QUESTION: Are you unwilling to tangle with the president?
  • CUOMO: QUOTE “How many years have you known me? 20 years? Have you ever known a time in the 20 years that I am unwilling to tangle? I’m a tangler!” lol
  • CUOMO: QUOTE “I am not engaging the president in politics. My only goal is to engage the president in partnership. This is no time for politics. You know, lead by example. I am not going to get into a political dispute with the president. I’m not gonna rise to the bait of a political challenge. I’m not running for president. I was never running for president. I said from day one I wasn’t running for president. I’m not running for president now. I’m not playing politics. I just want a partnership to deal with this. And I said to the president quite clearly, look when you do good things for my state and you’re a good partner, I will be the first one to say you’re a good partner. And I have. I went to the ship, the Comfort, today. I said thank you Mr. President. When we opened up the Javits Center, I said thank you to the army. They did a great job here, the army corps of engineers. When you do help my state, I’ll say thank you. If I believe that New York is not being served, like the federal legislation that they passed, I will say that too. You know? Sometimes it’s simple. Just tell the truth. Right? And that’s where we are. Tell the truth. If he’s doing the right thing by New York, I’ll say it. If he’s doing the wrong thing by New York, or the rest of the country, I’ll say it. But, I’m not going to engage in politics. Not because I’m unwilling to tangle. But, because I think it’s inappropriate. And I think it’s counter-productive. And I think it’s anti-American. Forget the politics! FORGET THE POLITICS. We have a national crisis. We are at war. There is no politics. There is no red and blue. It’s red, white and blue. So, let’s get over it and, again, lead by example.”
  • QUESTION: ???????
  • CUOMO: No one can be evicted for non payment of rent for three months. PERIOD. But, you will still owe rent at some point when this is over. He says he will look into extending that time period when the three month is up.
  • QUESTION: ????????
  • CUOMO: Elmhurst Hospital is a public hospital, and they are struggling. He has asked other hospitals to help them out, and that sort of shifting will continue to happen as public hospitals become overwhelmed.
  • QUESTION: What do you think the death toll will be?
  • CUOMO: The White House estimates 100,000 to 200,000 as the death toll across the nation. We don’t have projections for New York at this time. We have been studying the projections to see where to best deploy our resources. He smartly stops just short of saying “ what does it matter?”, but I understand what he means. This isn’t what we should be focused on. Rather than focusing on how awful it could be, we should be focusing on how we can prevent it from becoming the worst case scenario. Any life lost is too many. Why waste time dwelling on doom, when we can use that time to fight for life?
  • CUOMO: QUOTE “the number is already staggering. A human life is a human life. We’ve lost over 1,000 New Yorkers. To me, we’re beyond staggering already. We’ve reached staggering. And the only point now is, do everything you can to save every life possible. That’s what this is all about.”
  • QUESTION: ????
  • CUOMO: No one hospital can deal with this. We have to operate differently now.
  • QUESTION: ???
  • COUMO: God bless our doctors. We all wonder if we would ever have the courage to do their job. Thank you, from all of us.

IF YOU ARE ENJOYING THIS WEBSITE


Please consider donating a few dollars to help keep it going. Transcribing and recapping these press conferences is extremely time consuming. I do it because I passionately believe that everyone should stay informed, but it is undeniably a lot of work. If you would like to help me continue what I’m doing with this website, or just help to make sure I can afford food during this pandemic, please consider sending me a donation. I accept any amount, no matter how much, through Venmo (@Amydetriotgirl), Cashapp (@$carbetarian) and PayPal (Carbetarian@gmail.com). Anything you can give will be appreciated!

Categories
Andrew Cuomo New York City New York State

Press conference with New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo (3/29/20)

Before I get into my notes from today’s press conference with New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, I want to talk a little bit about some of the viewer comments that I saw on today’s livestream. There’s a rather vocal group of people online who seem to think that there is not enough being done to “quarantine” New York City. Let me start off by saying that I do understand these people’s concerns, and I agree that people in New York City should stay in New York City for everyone else’s safety. But, I would like to provide you all with some additional context for this situation that will hopefully help you to understand why throwing the word “quarantine” around is not productive.

First of all, we are already just about as “quarantined” in New York City as we can be. Yes, there are still people who are ignoring the social distancing rules at our city parks. But, for the most part, everyone I know is doing their part and staying at home. Asking people to completely shut the city down is simply not feasible in a place like New York City. Our lifestyle is very different from the vast majority of the rest of this country.

We need to keep the trains and buses running because most of the people who live here don’t drive, and we need to maintain ways for essential workers to get to their jobs and for sick people to get to hospitals. We need to leave school buildings open for meal pick ups because we have more than 100,000 homeless children in New York City who will not be able to eat otherwise. We need enrichment centers for the children of essential workers, because where else will they go? We need all of the grocery stores and bodegas to stay open because many of us, again, do not drive and live in walk up apartments that are not conducive to carrying large amounts at one time. We need the laundromats to stay open because many of us do not have the ability to wash larger items at home. We would like outdoor spaces to stay open because we live in tiny apartments and do not have yards. Are you starting to see the picture I’m painting here?

I understand the fear people in the surrounding areas are feeling about this illness. How do you think we feel here? We’ve all read the news stories about people being turned away at the hospitals, nurses using garbage bags as PPE, the long lines outside to be tested for COVID-19, and we have all seen the death toll. Although New Yorkers have a reputation for being tough, the truth is that a lot of us are scared too. We have good reason to be. I am not excusing people who have attempted to flee the city to escape the disease. But, I think you have to understand that we are all afraid in this country right now, and when you throw words like “quarantine” around people automatically start imagining a scenario where we are walled off and left to die. Please try to understand how that sounds from our perspective.

I am particularly disappointed by the negative comments from upstate New Yorkers about New York City. Unfortunately, what’s happening to us in the city will happen to people upstate soon too. I can certainly understand why some people blame us downstaters for this, but blaming us will not change the inevitable. Thankfully for the upstaters, they are projected to hit the apex of their infection curve after us in the city. That means they will be able to learn from our mistakes, and hopefully they will be able to benefit from some of the resources we have gathered when our curve starts to slope downwards. Upstate New York is one of the most beautiful places in the country, and I would never speak ill of upstaters the way some of them have spoken about us. We are all one state. Let’s please try to remember that and all be New York strong together.

And now, on to the notes!

ANDREW CUOMO

  • The trajectory of new cases in New York continues to climb.
  • Local health providers should be monitoring what’s going in their own area, as different areas will peak at different times. This is what’s known as a “rolling apex”.
  • The curve will hit at different times depending on when it started and the rate of spread in that particular community.
  • This is true all across the country.
  • This rolling apex will happen all across the state of New York.
  • New York City is expected to hit our apex first, followed by Westchester or Long Island, and then upstate New York.
  • For a local health system, this situation is a new challenge. In most places, you have a public hospital system, a private hospital system, or possibly a voluntary hospital system, and these different types of hospital systems do not really interact with one another. There’s also not much interaction between the hospitals within each system. We have to change that mentality, and change it quickly.
  • QUOTE: “No hospital is an island.”
  • He says we need a new culture of hospitals working with one another.
  • QUOTE: “There is an artificial wall almost between [public and private hospital] systems right now. That wall has to come down.”
  • Everyone must help everyone else.
  • Elmhurst Hospital is still under very intense stress.
  • There are 11 Health And Hospital public hospitals in the New York City system.
  • PERSONAL NOTE: I am a longtime patient at Bellevue, which is one of the eleven hospitals mentioned in this system. For those of you who live outside of NYC and associate Bellevue with mental hospitals, yes, it does have a well known psychiatric ward. But, it is also a world class regular hospital. I have two chronic medical conditions; high blood pressure and polycystic ovarian syndrome. I take medication for both of them (although the medication for PCOS is only taken under certain circumstances). They have taken care of me when I was broke, while I have been uninsured, and they saved my life when I nearly died from a viral infection in my 20s. Our public hospital system in New York City is something I am incredibly grateful for, and that I know will fight for our lives now with everything they have. The people who work in our public system are actual saints, and I am praying for them everyday. There are not enough words in the world to say how proud I am of these people. They are truly the best of us.
  • Our 11 public hospitals will need to work together like never before. He says he will speak to Mayor De Blasio about improving communication.
  • He will also be meeting with the leaders of private hospitals tomorrow to talk about how they can all integrate together.
  • The state’s role is to help coordinate all of this.
  • The hope is that we can take advantage of the projected rolling curve and ask upstate hospitals to help relieve downstate hospitals in the beginning, and then ask downstate to do the same for upstate as curves make their way around the state.
  • The New York PAUSE system (Policy, Assure, Uniform, Safety, Everyone) will be extended until April 15th. This is the executive order that commands the state wide shut down. So hold onto your butts, y’all! We’re staying put for at least two more weeks!
  • PERSONAL NOTE: Yesterday, I listed the timelines for the lockdowns in other heavily impacted areas. I think it’s safe to assume that New York City will end up looking at a two month shut down based on those timelines. We’ve already been shut down for a week. So, I would say to expect about seven more weeks of this. That is just my opinion! But, I’m basing it off of what we saw in Wuhan, and what’s being projected for Italy.
  • The New York State Department Of Health has developed a less intrusive saliva and short nasal swab test.
  • This new test can be self-administered in the presence of healthcare workers, and it uses less PPE.
  • Healthcare workers can self-administer this test, and it will help limit their exposure to the virus.
  • This new test will start as soon as next week.
  • When is it over? He says when we come up with an inexpensive at home test that can be brought to volume, that’s when we’ll probably see a return to normalcy in the workforce.
  • I wouldn’t bet on that time being soon.
  • The USNS Comfort will arrive tomorrow, with fresh supplies and staff. It will not be for COVID-19 patients. But, it will handle all of the other medical problems that require urgent care.
  • Our current stockpile includes 2.5 million N95 masks, 6 million surgical masks, 2.7 million exam gloves, 500,000 protective gowns and coveralls, and 300,000 face shields.
  • They are currently distributing 625,000 N95 masks, 1.5 million surgical masks, 600,000 exam gloves, 200,000 protective gowns and coveralls, and 65,000 face shields.
  • They have a purchasing team that is working 7 days a week to get more medical equipment, but it’s difficult because we are bidding against all the other states. But, we are making progress.
  • Finding staff is going very well. We now have 76,019 medical professionals who have volunteered to help. Roughly half of those volunteers are some kind of physician, and the other half of various kinds of nurses.
  • So far, 172, 360 people have been tested for COVID-19 in New York. Of that number, 16,390 are new tests.
  • So far, 59,513 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in New York, Of that number, 7,195 are new positives.
  • New York City has had 33,768 positives so far. Of that number, 4,002 are new positives.
  • There are now only two counties in the state of New York reporting no cases of the illness.
  • There are currently 8,503 people hospitalized in New York. 2,037 of them are ICU patients.
  • So far, 3,572 people have been discharged. Yay!
  • 846 people were discharged from the hospital yesterday. YASSS!
  • At the time of the press conference, there have been 965 deaths in New York. That number is up from 728 yesterday. I will do the math for you, and tell you that means that 237 people died from COVID-19 in the state of New York yesterday.
  • We are still the most impacted state.
  • Rounding out the top five most impacted states, we have New Jersey (11,124 cases and 140 deaths), California (5,565 cases and 121 deaths), Michigan (4,635 cases and 111 deaths), and Washington (4,311 cases and 191 deaths).
  • The number of hospitalizations went up yesterday to 1,175.
  • These daily numbers vary because of many factors, so looking at one day in specific is not always all that meaningful.
  • Our rate of hospitalizations is now doubling every six days, which is a slower pace than where we were a week ago.
  •  ICU admissions also went up yesterday. We had 282 ICU admissions yesterday.
  • The number of people who were intubated went down yesterday to 165. They don’t normally run this chart, but for context purposes I will tell you that the highest number on this chart so far was two days ago at 290 people.
  • More people were discharged yesterday than any day before. YASSS!
  • For perspective, 679,977 people have tested positive for COVID-19 since this all began.
  • He speaks now about some of the fallen, and now I’m crying again.
  • Detective Cedric Dixon was 48 years old. He worked in the 32nd precinct in Harlem, and was a 23 veteran on the force. He could have retired, but he stayed on as a service to his city.
  • Kious Kelly was also 48 years old. He was the Assistant Nurse Manager at Mt. Sinai West.
  • Governor Cuomo says he is at a loss for words, and so he has chosen this FDR quote to speak for him. It says “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.”
  • The president and the CDC ordered a travel advisory for people in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. This happened last night.
  • This advisory is NOT a lockdown or a quarantine.
  • It is basically what we’ve already been doing. Nonessential people should stay at home.
  • He says he supports what the president did because it affirms what we have already been doing.
  • Yesterday the completely insignificant state of Rhode Island issued an executive order directing police officers to stop anyone with New York plates at the border for mandatory quarantine. That executive order has been repealed.
  • We thank them for coming to their damn senses about this.
  • QUOTE: “this is disorienting. It’s frightening. It’s disturbing. Your whole life is turned upside down overnight. To be the best you can, find a way to create some joy.”
  • He says that his idea is to have a family day. He talks about his big Italian family gathering for spaghetti and meatballs, and now I’m hungry. He reminds us all that we can do this over skype, or through facetime, and that it’s still special even if it’s different than we’re used to.
  • His story about his kids not trusting his food because they knew he couldn’t cook is the story of my life. When he said “so we got chinese food afterwards” I just about died. Haha, SAME! We are the same, Governor Cuomo! Lol
  • He says “I know we feel we are under attack”.
  • PERSONAL OPINION:People have been coming for us who were not sent for, LOOKING DIRECTLY AT YOU RHODE ISLAND. But, this is New York. We specialize in strength, stamina, and stability. We don’t care about the opinions of haters. We’re not going to brick off New York City, so to all of you out there who are rooting for this to be a disaster movie, you can go shave your backs now. Thanks.
  • QUOTE: “I can’t sit here and say you’re not going to see people pass away. You will. That is the nature of what we’re dealing with, and that’s beyond any of our control. But, New York is going to have what it needs, and NO ONE is going to attack New York unfairly. And NO ONE is going to deprive New York of what it needs.”
  • QUOTE: “There is no state in the nation that is better prepared, or better mobilized than what we’re doing.”
  • EXCELSIOR – “EVER UPWARDS!” (For those that don’t know, this is our state motto)
  • E PLURIBUS UNUM – “Out of many, one” UNITY.
  • “If you put those two things together, it says it all.
  • QUOTE: “If you remember nothing else when I’m gone, if you walk up to the box and have nothing else to remember… Excelsior. You can be better. It will be better. We can make it better. E pluribus unum. We make it better together. That’s it. And that’s what we’re doing.

QUESTIONS

  • QUESTION: When will you start admitting patients to Javits?
  • CUOMO: This week. Remember that we are assembling supplies for the apex, so the idea is that it will be ready for the apex.
  • QUESTION: This shutdown will affect Easter and other religious holidays. What do you say to families about that?
  • CUOMO: He says it’s hard. But, guys… I’m going to just give my personal opinion here and say it’s really not that hard. It’s one easter. God will forgive you if you worship at home. I’m fairly certain a compassionate god would prefer that we take care of our community and reduce the spread of this illness than that we pack into churches and cause more deaths. Cuomo reminds people that the outbreak in New Rochelle was made worse by a religious gathering.
  • CUOMO: By the way, the first COVID patient in New Rochelle is now out of the hospital.
  • QUESTION: Have you spoken to the governor of Rhode Island, and how did you convince her to rescind her executive order?
  • CUOMO: He spoke to her yesterday, and says that he did believe the order was legal or “neighborly”. He said she was receptive to his message and he thanks her for changing her mind.
  • QUESTION: There have been 237 deaths in the last 24 hours, 222 of which were in New York City, do you have any idea what the apex of this might look like in terms of lives lost?
  • DR. ZUCKER: We are already at 965 deaths, so it does seem the deaths will be in the thousands. But, again, these are models and the numbers could change.
  • QUESTION: But, in terms of what you expect to see each day, are we talking about hundreds?
  • DR. ZUCKER: 80% of people who get this illness will recover on their own. The number of people who end up dying is currently hovering at about 1%. So, it depends on how many new cases we see.
  • CUOMO: My opinion is that there’s no way you can look at those numbers and conclude anything other than that thousands of people will pass away.
  • QUESTION: As of Friday, nursing home residents accounted for about ¼ of all the coronavirus deaths in New York, is there anything more you can do to prevent that.
  • CUOMO: Says that coronavirus in a nursing home is a toxic combination. They are no longer allowing visitors in nursing homes, and they are testing staff before letting them in to work. Unfortunately, there isn’t really anything else that can be done.
  • QUESTION: What numbers are you looking at to get these data projections?
  • DR. ZUCKER: All of them.
  • CUOMO: You asked about the testing numbers, but I wouldn’t give too much weight to the testing numbers because the people we’re testing are not random. We’re testing people who we already suspect have the virus. And we don’t do the projections ourselves. We have professional firms doing this for us.
  • PERSONAL NOTE: This is a good time to talk about a huge misconception I have been seeing a lot online. People seem to think that because we have done the most testing, that means we are testing everyone. We are not. We are using the same standards as most other states and only testing people with symptoms, and I have heard from friends that it’s hard to get the test even if you are symptomatic. No one is inflating these numbers. We just sincerely have a lot of sick people here. If you are reading this from another state, please understand that the number of people who have the virus here is almost assuredly higher than what we are reporting!
  • QUESTION: Florida has apparently placed a similar ban on New Yorkers coming to the state, similar to what Rhode Island did yesterday. Do you have any comments on that?
  • CUOMO: I don’t know what they’re doing in Florida, but I will look into it.
  • WHAT HE SHOULD HAVE SAID: Oh, so they refused to cancel spring break or close their beaches, yet are surprised they are now having a coronavirus outbreak? Oh, ok. But, now that you already have the virus, you want to ban New Yorkers? Oh. I’m just saying, there’s a reason why your state is a national punchline, Florida. Next!
  • QUESTION: Do you get crime reports? Has domestic violence gone up? What are you doing for the city’s mental health?
  • JIM MALATRAS: We have a hotline people can call to receive free mental health assistance during this time. We are also tracking reported crimes. It’s tough to tell if there’s been any increase in domestic health issues.
  • DR. ZUCKER: We’re working with people all across the state to address the state’s mental health needs.
  • QUESTION: We had ample warning about coronavirus before this became an emergency situation. Why didn’t you shut the state down sooner?
  • CUOMO: We were one of the first to shut our state down. We wanted to do it in a way that didn’t create more panic.
  • CUOMO: QUOTE “We’re fighting two things. You’re fighting the virus, and you’re fighting the fear. I can’t tell you how many people called all night long about the mandatory quarantine comment that the president made as he was getting into a helicopter, which was inconclusive, by the way. Even if you heard his comment, it was not conclusive in his comment. But, people are so on edge… I mean, it really panicked people. They were gonna leave the city last night. It was really… so you need to manage that fear and that panic, and you also need to deal with the virus.”
  • PERSONAL NOTE: California did beat us to shutting down their state by a few days.
  • CUOMO: He says that he does not want to use the term “shelter in place” for what we are doing because it is usually used to describe sheltering in a very guarded room to protect from bombings or an active shooter, and he felt that using that term would only add to people’s panic.
  • QUESTION: Do you regret not closing the state down sooner?
  • CUOMO: We had one of the most dramatic reactions at the first point in all this. So, that answer is basically no.
  • QUESTION: Do you know how many frontline medical providers now have the virus in New York?
  • CUOMO: We don’t have statistics on that.
  • QUESTION: Senator Schumer says that you have flatly rejected 5 billion dollars in coronavirus medicaid funding for New Yorkers because you’re not willing to delay the medicaid reforms until the federal funding runs out. He says you’re hurting local government at this time, what is your response?
  • CUOMO: QUOTE “Well, I would say to senator Schumer, it would be nice if he would pass a piece of legislation that actually helped the state of New York.”
  • PERSONAL NOTE: SHOTS FIRED FROM ALBANY!!!!
  • CUOMO: QUOTE “The piece of legislation he passed stopped the state from a process that was happening for six months that was redesigning the medicaid program to make it more efficient and more effective. It was called the medicaid redesign team. I announced it back in January. It’s the second time we did it. And it takes waste and fraud, and inefficiency out of the system. And that was going on since January. The legislation he passed said you can’t redesign medicaid. For what reason I have NO IDEA. So, it disqualified this state from funding, and he knew that when he passed it.”
  • QUESTION: But you have a choice, you can either take the additional 6 billion in emergency funds and pause the MRT, which is worth 2.5 billion, or… it sounds like you’re not taking the 6 billion so you can push ahead with the MRT.
  • CUOMO: QUOTE “Yeah, I have no choice. Because- I’ll tell you. 2.5 billion per year recurring is worth more than a 6 billion one shot. I’d rather have 2.5, 2.5, 2.5 than 6 billion today. And I called every congressional representative and told them why would you want to stop a medicaid redesign that’s been going on since January? I don’t know what they’re political calculus was, but that’s all it was. It was political calculus.”
  • CUOMO: QUOTE “It was a state passed medicaid redesign effort. Why would you ever want to stop that? I don’t know whose politics they’re playing.”
  • QUESTION: Why not take the upfront money now, and redesign medicaid next year?
  • ROBERT MUJICA: QUOTE: “The numbers here are important. The 6 billion dollar number? We can’t get to the 6 billion dollar number no matter how you estimate those numbers, so probably it’s closer to about 4 billion dollars, and that assumes that the emergency is in place for a full year. There’s nothing in that bill that says that it will last for a year. In fact, it will end as soon as the president declares the emergency is over, and that can happen at any time. So, that 4 billion dollar number also is reduced. If it’s half a year, it’s only 2 billion. Then a significant portion of that money doesn’t come to the state. It went to local governments. So, you’re left with a number that’s under 2 billion dollars, potentially. If, at most, which then you’re basically saying take a one shot of these funds, don’t reform the medicaid system and spend that money inefficiently on a system that unanimously everyone understood was not working properly and was wasting the money. So, the choice is really waste the money that way, or do a bill that actually provides funding to New York State. That bill doesn’t even give us a fraction of the amount of money that is needed.”
  • PERSONAL NOTE: Did y’all catch that? What a mess.
  • CUOMO: QUOTE “Just, so you have a fact. It’s 2 billion. Take 2 billion for sure, right? Door A, door B. Take door A, and you get 2 billion for sure, or door B for 2.6 billion. I pick the door with 2.6 billion.”
  • CUOMO: QUOTE “The real question is to me, why would you do that to the state of New York? Why would you say ‘stop a medicaid redesign’ that saves taxpayers money, that has to be passed by the assembly, and has to be passed by the senate? Why would a federal government say ‘I’m gonna trample the state’s right to redesign its medicaid program that it runs’??? That saves money! Who… What… What is…? I don’t even know what the political interest is that they’re trying to protect.”
  • CUOMO:  QUOTE “Second, the problem with the budget is the numbers. Why? Because the federal government… what we just talked about was in the previous bill. Two bills ago. The bill that JUST PASSED, we get 1.9% of our state budget. About 5 billion dollars, which is 1.9% of our budget, only to use for coronavirus expenses. Ok? 5 billion dollars. 1.5% of our budget. Only for coronavirus expenses. First point, you have states that got 10% of their budget, 20% of their budget, in coronavirus expenses, that don’t even have coronavirus cases! You have some states that have four cases. We have more cases than anyone else. We got the lowest level of reimbursement in the bill. What happened to funding need? Second, the federal bill had NO FUNDING for the fact that states have lost revenue. And speaker Pelosi, god bless her, was asked today, how about Governor Cuomo’s point that it didn’t do anything to help the states? And the speaker basically said, yeah, we have to come back and pass another bill. So, we have a 10 billion dollar, 15 billion dollar revenue hole that the federal government did NOTHING to help on. Now, I have to do a state budget.”
  • CUOMO: The budget is due next week, and now we will have to make drastic cuts to the budget like you have never seen before.
  • QUESTION: On the issue of the travel advisory, what do you envision as essential travel? And does this mean you don’t want people coming in to New York to do business?
  • CUOMO: It’s the same definition as what it’s always been in New York. We only want essential workers traveling.
  • QUESTION: What would be the impact of MRT cuts during a public health crisis?
  • CUOMO: We do have healthcare funding. The federal government did provide 5 billion dollars in the bill for coronavirus expenses. But, every hospital now has coronavirus expenses. The budgeting problem is not funding healthcare, it’s funding the schools. The schools are where we have zero dollars.
  • QUESTION: Could we do short term borrowing?
  • ROBERT MUJICA: The issue is that we won’t have any revenue coming in for the first quarter because taxes have been delayed, so we will have to shift resources in order to bridge the gap. We will do short term borrowing, but we will still have a 10 billion dollar revenue shortfall.
  • CUOMO: QUOTE “When you have that big a hole that has to be closed, there’s two things you can do. You can sort of paper over it and come up with expectations. Well, we believe the next federal bill will actually deliver money to the state of New York. Yeah, you could say that. And you could say that I believe that Santa Claus is real. You know. But, I’m not comfortable doing that. Especially since the federal government just passed the bill, and that’s what we were just hoping for, and the federal government just did the exact opposite and handed us a goose egg. Uh, well we expect the economy is gonna rebound in nine months, and that it’s gonna be what they call the V curve. It’s gonna be a quick down, it’s gonna be a quick up, so all those revenues are gonna keep flooding back so we’re gonna be fine. That’s another way of papering over the hole. I don’t want to do that either. Because I don’t believe it. And I don’t believe anyone’s gonna believe it. And I don’t believe credit agencies are gonna believe it. And I believe postponing a problem, in government, in life, you just make it worse. You just make it worse. Let’s not deceive ourselves. You’re not gonna get saved by the federal government. If they were going to do it, they would have done it. They played the wrong politics. SHOCKER.”
  • QUESTION: Will there be any policy issues done with the budget?
  • CUOMO: The same policy issues we’ve been discussing all along. The main policy objections are to a bill that would is meant to fight against anti-semitism. He thinks it would be a mistake not to address anti-semitism in the state and address “domestic terrorism”.
  • CUOMO: QUOTE “It’s repugnant to the concept of New York and America to attack someone based on their race, color, creed. If you kill someone in an attempt to kill several people based on their race, color or creed, how is that not a terrorist act?”
  • CUOMO: They don’t want to pass that bill, and they don’t want to pass a surrogacy bill that would allow LGTBQ couples to have a biological child. He says this is “wholly ironic” to him, since New York was the first state to pass marriage equality. He says now we are telling those same couples they can’t have kids, and that makes no sense to him.

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Categories
Andrew Cuomo New York City New York State

Press conference with New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo (3/28/20)

Before I start today’s notes, I want to speak a little bit about my life before COVID-19. As I state in the about me section of this website, before this virus came along I was a freelance experiential marketer.

You might be wondering, what does that mean? Experiential marketing basically refers to any sort of marketing that’s done face to face with other people. I think the most easily recognizable example of experiential marketing are auto shows. The people you see standing by the cars, the people who welcome you to the display and answer your questions, do not work directly for the brands they are representing. We work for talent and staffing agencies, and most of us have represented hundreds, if not thousands, of brands at conventions and promotional tours all across the country. I personally have worked events in about 25 states, but several of my colleagues have made it fairly close to all 50.

One thing that I love about my job, is that it allows me to continuously connect with other humans on a personal level, from all walks of life. I see the very best, and the very worst, of people all the time throughout my daily interactions. I am used to dealing with large crowds, with calming people’s anxiety over uncontrollable things like wait times, or calming people’s decision making fears. And through my adjacent experience with event production, I have also become accustomed to learning to adapt to changing circumstances quickly.

But, all of my life experience and coping skills are geared towards managing being surrounded by other people. This situation presents me with a completely different sort of challenge. This situation has forced me to manage myself. I am the one one who needs calming now, and there is no one here to redirect my energy and renew my spirits when I fall short. I live alone in The Bronx. It’s just me and my cat, in a one bedroom apartment, staring out the window at the unknown. Gone are the tours across the country, the conventions, and the film festivals. Rather than waking up everyday ready to use my energy to make people smile, I wake up everyday praying that no one I know dies.

I’m telling you this because I want you to have some context for why these press conferences and updates are so important to me. If you are reading this from outside of New York City, you might not yet understand the impact this crisis has had on our culture and our way of life. It might seem far removed for you, wherever you are. As someone who lives in the current epicenter of this pandemic, I want you to understand the reality on the ground. I want you to understand that your city could be next. And, most importantly of all, I would like to use my skills to connect with you all as a human being once more.

Thank you for allowing me this platform, everyone. On to the notes!

ANDREW CUOMO

  • The situation manifests itself in many different ways, through economic anxiety, fear of isolation, panic from misinformation, etc. If you feel lost or disoriented, it’s not you. It’s everyone, and it’s everywhere.
  • Today is Saturday. How many of us knew that? I am in the same position Cuomo’s in. All of the days now feel the same to me. I’m sure many of you can relate.
  • The state of New York had our first COVID-19 case 27 days ago. Please stop and reflect on that. Our entire existence here in New York was completely derailed in less than a month.
  • New York schools closed only 10 days ago.
  • The first school closures in New Rochelle during the first major outbreak happened 18 days ago.
  • The overall shutdown on non essential workers was only 8 days ago. He says it feels like a lifetime ago, and I agree.
  • How long will this go on? Let’s look at some other countries to try to gain some perspective.
  • China had their first test case 12 weeks ago.
  • South Korea had their first test case 9 weeks ago.
  • Italy had their first test case 8 weeks ago.
  • NOTE FROM ME: He didn’t talk about this, but I would like to give you all some added context myself. China locked down the entire province of Hubei on January 23rd. The city of Wuhan just lifted some of the lockdown requirements today, Saturday March 28th. This means that they were in lockdown for slightly more than two months. Italy fully locked down on March 9th (although some cities were on lockdown before the national decision), and they are still locked down. Also, for those keeping score at home, it looks like Italy suspended travel to China before the US did, contrary to what Cheetolini keeps saying. South Korea didn’t have to lockdown, because they handled this better than us from jump.
  • Every emergency situation is unique.
  • During Superstorm Sandy, we needed 1,000 portable generators and 700 miles of sandbags. So, there is always something unique to every crisis. In this case, we need ventilators.
  • Once again, the average patient who needs a ventilator with a normal respiratory issue will need a ventilator for 3 – 4 days. A COVID-19 patient may need one for up to 20 days, which increases the problem of scarcity.
  • He believes the president was right to invoke the defense production act.
  • As governor, he consults with all the experts about all of the possible scenarios in this situation.
  • What if we don’t have ventilators? Then we use bag valve masks.
  • What is a bag valve mask? It’s basically a manual ventilator that someone has to squeeze by hand.
  • They are buying these masks as well. They have about 3,000 already, and they have ordered an additional 4,000.
  • They are talking about training national guard people to operate these masks, although it would be a desperate last resort move since it requires so much manpower to operate.
  • In short, he says his preferred answer to using these would be “No, thank you”. But, we have them.
  • Do we really need 30,000 ventilators? Well, let’s look at the numbers one more time.
  • The projected numbers say yes. The numbers suggest that at the apex of our curve, we will need 140,000 beds and 30,000 ventilators. Period.
  • He says maybe we will get lucky and flatten the curve enough not to need these numbers, but we’re not running this show on maybes.
  • Ventilators cost about $25k – 45k each. (!!!!)
  • The state is buying most of the ventilators, and we are already in a terrible financial position. So, to be clear, we are not trying to inflate these numbers. The state has no interest in asking for more than we need.
  • When they started buying ventilators, the price was averaging 25k each. It was shot up to $45k each because of demand.
  • NOTE FROM ME: Wow. That is really sad. Shame on all of these companies for taking advantage of this crisis. I understand that there is a price tag that comes along with increased, accelerated production, but this is absurd. I don’t know how some people sleep at night.
  • The government sent 4,000 ventilators. Why aren’t we using them? You know what, he answered this question civilly. But, I’m not going to. WTF, do people not understand how preparation works??? Some of this country has never planned for a damn thing in their lives, and it shows. This is why so many Americans get suckered into things like joining pyramid schemes and voting for Donald Trump! Some people have no foresight whatsoever! So, in short, we aren’t using them yet because we don’t need them yet. But, we definitely will need them IN THE NEAR FUTURE.
  • Ok, so in his much calmer words; “because we are preparing and stockpiling for the Apex.” and because “we want to have what we need when we need it.”
  • He quotes an old expression: “You go to war with what you have, not with what you need.” but adds, until you go to war you should prepare!
  • “Our mission is to be ready for the apex.”
  • The apex is still forecasted to happen in 14 – 21 days.
  • That number can always change.
  • In the short term, we are ok in terms of PPE. We are working on addressing long term needs.
  • The CDC has decided to enact crisis guidelines for PPE, which means using less PPE than would normally be used in a hospital. Many doctors and nurses are concerned about this. The state is looking into this. If the state doctors feel the CDC guidelines are not protecting our medical staff properly, the state will change the guidelines for our healthcare professionals.
  • We now have 72,000 medically trained volunteers ready to help us in New York.
  • He says we need regional hospitals to change their orientation. Rather than our traditional model where every hospital operates on their own, we need hospitals to work together (both public and private) and shift resources and patients when one hospital is overwhelmed. The state department of health not only advises this, but now mandates this.
  • There may come a point where the state steps in and allocates where patients need to go. This means patients who can safely be moved from downstate to upstate may be moved by the state if hospitals in long island, or the new york city metro area become too overwhelmed to handle their patient load.
  • He is asking the major pharmacy chains to start doing home delivery services, free of charge.
  • The department of health is monitoring the density and activity in New York City parks, specifically on the playgrounds. They put plans in place to allow people places to go while still maintaining social distancing. If people do not comply with the 6 ft separation rules, the playgrounds will be closed.
  • He pleads with the people, especially the young people, of New York City to take this seriously.
  • NOTE FROM ME: I personally have just been staying inside since the lockdown started, but I can understand why some people feel the need to go to the parks. That said, if you’re going to go, DON’T RUIN IT FOR EVERYONE BY BEING STUPID. A lot of people are about to have our only opportunity for fresh air taken away simply because some of y’all refuse to follow directions. STAY SIX FEET AWAY FROM ONE ANOTHER AND STOP BEING JACKHOLES. Yes, this rant includes your children!
  • We are doing tests on Hydroxychloroquine and Zithromax.
  • So far, 1,100 tests have been administered.
  • These tests have mainly been happening in New York City, and we will be hearing the results of those tests soon.
  • The emergency hospital at the Javits Center will open on Monday. Wow.
  • The USNS Comfort leaves for New York today. It will arrive on Monday as well.
  • The USNS Comfort is bringing us 1,000 beds, 1,200 medical personnel, 12 Operating rooms, a pharmacy, and a lab. The medical personnel will be the most needed resource of all.
  • The ship will be used to backfill some of the overflow from the hospitals.
  • He says he spoke to the president this morning, and he approved the four new hospital sites.
  • He apologizes for being late for today’s conference because of that call, which I have to point out because it’s such a huge contrast to Trump. Trump declares a different time for his press conference every day and then is CONSISTENTLY late for the time that he himself picked! Now I know some of you who know me well will laugh at the idea of me getting on anyone else for being late. But, I’m not the president of The United States Of America!
  • The four new hospital locations will once again be: Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, CUNY Staten Island, and The New York Expo Center in The Bronx.
  • He toured these sites yesterday, and he says they are appropriate for our needs.
  • He says that it was very important to him that every borough gets a field hospital, and that we are treated equally.
  • NOTE FROM ME: As a long time resident of the city’s most neglected borough, The Bronx, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate him for doing this. If you could see the difference in how Manhattan and the wealthy parts of Brooklyn are treated by the MTA in normal life, versus how we are treated up here, you would know why this declaration matters to me. I know there will always be an element of “the haves and the have nots” in how people are treated in a crisis, but it makes me feel better to know that equal treatment of the boroughs is at least on his radar. I’m sure the people of Staten Island also appreciate this, as I heard a few days ago that their hospitals were nearing capacity and they have the hardest time getting to another borough.
  • They are adding to their bed capacity as well at three new sites, giving us a total of 695 new beds.
  • The three new sites are South Beach Psychiatric Center in Staten Island (260 beds), Westchester Square in The Bronx (200 beds), and Health Alliance (formerly Benedictine Hospital) in Ulster County (235 beds).
  • They are also shifting to having COVID only sites, with 600+ beds available in total.
  • The COVID only locations will be South Beach Psychiatric Center in Staten Island, Westchester Square in The Bronx, and SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn.
  • The New York State Department of Health has gotten approval from the test to start trying a new test, which is an antibody test to see if individuals were in fact previously infected with the COVID virus and now have immunity.
  • New York State’s primary election was scheduled to happen on April 28th. He does not think it’s wise to bring so many people to vote during this crisis, so the New York State primary election is now moved to coincide with the previously scheduled state legislative and congressional election on June 23rd.
  • The state tax filing deadline has been moved to July 15th, which is the same day as the new federal deadline.
  • So far, New York state has tested 155,934 people in total. 17,412 of those tests are new tests since the last press conference.
  • 65,902 people in total have been tested in New York City. 7,948 of those tests are new since the last press conference.
  • At the time of the press conference, New York State had 52,318 positive cases. 7,681 of those cases are new since the last press conference.
  • At the time of the press conference, New York City had 29,766 positive cases. 4,368 of those cases are new cases since the last press conference.
  • We currently have 7,328 people hospitalized in New York State.
  • We currently have 1,755 ICU patients in New York State (someone requiring a ventilator).
  • And 2,726 patients have been discharged. That’s 681 more than yesterday.
  • We are still the most impacted state. The second most impacted state is our dear neighbor, New Jersey, at 8,825 cases. The third most impacted state is California, where I have family and many friends, coming in at 4,914. Washington, where I also have friends (and incidentally I have a lot of coworkers, one of whom exposed me to the virus at PAX East), is fourth most impacted at 3,770. Coming in at number five, is Michigan with 3,651. I was born in Michigan, and I lived there until I was 17. My parents are in Michigan. My grandmother is in Michigan. Many of my friends are in Michigan. I’m praying for all of us.
  • We have had 728 deaths so far in New York State. This number is up from 519 yesterday.
  • Rounding out the other top five most impacted states: New Jersey has had 108 deaths, California has had 102 deaths, Washington has had 177 deaths, and Michigan has had 93 deaths so far.
  • People have complained that New York has been asking for more resources than other states, and that is true. But, if you look at the numbers, it’s pretty easy to understand why we are asking.
  • If you’re looking for good news, there were only 172 people admitted to the ICU yesterday. This is down from 374 the day before. This is the lowest this number has been in four days.
  • The number of hospitalizations also dropped a bit yesterday. 847 people were admitted to the hospital yesterday, versus 1,154 the day before.
  • Don’t put too much stock in the numbers for any one day, but these last two numbers are a good thing.
  • “Yes, death is inevitable for all of us. But, just not today.”
  • WHAT DO WE SAY TO THE GOD OF DEATH, Y’ALL??? NOT TODAY! 🙂
  • Wash your hands and stop touching each other, you heathens.
  • Rule one in any situation is to plan forward. Be proactive, not reactive. We’ve been behind this virus since day one. He says we have been reacting to the virus, but you don’t win being on the defense. We need to find ways to be on the offense.
  • QUOTE: “That’s what we’re doing with the Apex preparation. We don’t have that crisis today. We could have that crisis in 14 to 21 days. So, YES, I’m creating a stockpile TODAY for a possible reality 14 to 21 days from now. I’m not going to wait for day 13 to say ‘oh my gosh, we need 30,000 ventilators’. It’s over. So, get ahead of it.”
  • CONT. QUOTE: “But, beyond just New York, as a nation, we have to start to get ahead of this, in two areas specifically. On purchasing, you can’t have a situation where 50 states are competing with each other to buy the same material. That is what is happening now. When I showed you the price of ventilators went from $25k to $45k, why? Because we bid $25k, and California says ‘I’ll give you $30k, and Illinois says ‘I’ll give you $35k, Florida says ‘I’ll give you $40k’. We’re literally bidding up the prices ourselves.”
  • CONT. QUOTE: “Now, every state… no ones doing anything wrong. I’m here to protect New York. That’s what I get paid to do. I have to acquire the ventilators. I have to pay whatever I have to pay to acquire the ventilators. I don’t mean to take them from other states. But, when you have a system where you say to the states ‘Ok, you go out and buy what you need to buy’, we all need to buy the same thing. We all need to buy PPE. We all need to buy N95 masks. We all need to buy ventilators. So, we’re all shopping the same distributors, the same group, and it’s not even legally price gouging. I was attorney general. I don’t even think you could get a price gouging case! This is just private market competition. My daughter Cara is working on the purchasing team. They change the prices, you can see the prices going up literally during the course of the day.”
  • NOTE FROM ME: He says the federal government should organize this, or “the states among themselves”. I think that last one is the more realistic solution. Trump is obviously showing favoritism to certain states, and his cruelty will end up getting people killed. I think all of the blue states, and any sensible red states that would like to join, should band together and form a buying coalition and do take care of this problem ourselves. We already know Trump has told providers not to send anything to Michigan, and he made it pretty clear yesterday that he has no real intention of sending more Ventilators to New York. I realize what I’m saying here is like asking for a civil war, but this is literally a matter of life and death. In my opinion, we can’t afford to wait for Trump to act like a real leader here.
  • QUOTE: “And then, by the way, when the federal government goes out to buy the same equipment for their stockpile, now it’s 50 states competing up against the states AND the federal government competing against the states!”
  • He says we need a nationwide buying consortium, and clearly I AGREE. He suggests basically exactly what I just suggested (minus the blue and red arguments and civil war lol), and says he will bring this up among the other state governors.
  • He says the second thing we need to do is plan forward on testing. We need more tests, and we need faster results.
  • He says we need to open the market to tests from other countries, and that a 5 day waiting period for test results is too long. That’s five days that someone could go out and infect someone else.
  • He says the only way to open up our economy quickly is to invest in millions of tests, and begin testing to see who has the antibody already and can safely return to work.
  • “Remember this is a sprint, it’s a marathon.”
  • “We must do our part and we must adjust.”
  • “We must look for the silver lining.”
  • “You have the advantage of time here” and I agree with him about this. He says that the time he now has to stay at home and talk to his daughters is priceless, and that we may never have it again. He is right about this. While we are in lockdown mode, take this time to appreciate what you have and work on things you never had time for before. Watch a movie, read a book, start a blog… 🙂
  • “This will be over, and we will be better for it.”

QUESTIONS

  • QUESTION: Trump is apparently considering a quarantine of the tristate area. He also said that he had spoken with you about this. What do you have to say about that?
  • CUOMO: QUOTE “I spoke to the president about the ship coming up, and the four sites. I didn’t speak to him about any quarantine.”
  • QUESTION: He hasn’t spoken to you about a quarantine? Have you had any indication that a quarantine is possible for New York?
  • CUOMO: QUOTE “No, I haven’t had those conversations. I don’t even know what that means.”
  • QUESTION: Mayor De Blasio said yesterday that April 5th is the day that New York City is expecting some sort of Apex. What can they do to prepare for that, given that at this point we only have a couple thousand extra hospital beds?
  • CUOMO: QUOTE: “April 5th? Well, uh look… all of the projections on the apex are just that, projections. April 5th is earlier than our state projection. So Dr. Zucker will get with the local health commissioner there to have that conversation.” He goes on to say that we can shift patients from New York City upstate if need be.
  • QUESTION: The president said he’s looking at some sort of enforceable quarantine for New York, and parts of the tristate area. Is that a sound policy from your perspective, or would you advise against it?
  • CUOMO: QUOTE: “I don’t even know what that means. I don’t know how that could be legally enforceable, and from a medical point of view I don’t know what you would be accomplishing. But, I can tell you this, I don’t even like the sound of it, not even understanding what it is. I don’t like the sounds of it.”
  • QUESTION: There are people in New Rochelle who have been quarantined for 24 – 25 days. There’s some confusion about the guidance that says you have to wait a certain number of days without being symptomatic, or whether you should have to pass a second test to be let out of quarantine. What is the state’s guidance on that?
  • DR. ZUCKER: That quarantine has been lifted there. For those that have been positive for 7 – 10 days, if they don’t have symptoms for 72 hours they are considered cleared.
  • QUESTION: What’s your reaction to the governor of Rhode Island stopping people with New York plates and attempting to keep them out of her state?
  • CUOMO: I don’t know any details about that. Take everything with a grain of salt.
  • QUESTION: Did you have a call with the other governors in the tristate area this morning?
  • CUOMO: No.
  • QUESTION: Are you getting any reports of false positive tests?
  • DR. ZUCKER: No.
  • QUESTION: Are you changing any requirements to unemployment? Or at least any in person activities?
  • ROBERT MUJICA: For now, no. But, the in person requirements can now be done online or by phone.
  • QUESTION: Some people are upset by what appear to be cuts in the public hospital system during this crisis. Can you comment on that?
  • CUOMO: The hospitals are receiving more funding than any other area right now. They’re getting $100 billion nationally. QUOTE: “look, we have no money. Life is options. That state has no money. But, if you’re getting… the federal bill has $100 billion for hospitals for coronavirus expenses. They are doing better than anyone else.”
  • QUESTION: How are you handling partners being in the room for births right now?
  • MELISSA DEROSA: We had issued a ruling that partners should be allowed in for births, and some hospitals were ignoring that. We updated that guidance to make it a directive, and it will be reinforced again as an executive order. Hospitals should allow one person in for the birth in addition to the mother.
  • QUESTION: Do you intend on drawing away any of the money intended for hospitals for the state?
  • CUOMO: The way they wrote the law, we can’t.
  • QUESTION: Yesterday you said you need 40,000 ventilators, today it was 30,000. Why the change?
  • CUOMO: It’s because we acquired some already.
  • QUESTION: Has anyone contacted you to dispute being on or off the essential workers list? And if so, what was the result?
  • CUOMO: Nope.
  • QUESTION: (paraphrasing what I feel was the intent of this question) De Blasio’s been releasing people from jail over in New York City like it’s the last day of school, do you have plans to follow suit?
  • CUOMO: We are looking at that now.
  • QUESTION: Have you thought about what sort of statistics you would need to see on the backend of the apex before you start easing up on lockdown restrictions?
  • CUOMO: No. We’re focused on the apex.
  • QUESTION: Will you consider raising taxes on the wealthy?
  • CUOMO: I don’t know how you raise taxes on people who are out of work, and their businesses are closed.
  • QUESTION: Do you have a reaction to the loss of another nurse?
  • CUOMO: He says he is not shocked, because they are doing a very dangerous job. He says our first responders are truly extraordinary, and that they are heroes. He says he is in awe of them. He says thank god for those people, and that he is sorry for their loss.

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Categories
Bill De Blasio New York City

Press conference with New York City mayor, Bill De Blasio (3/27/20)

Today I will not be covering the questions at the end of this press conference, because Trump took up so much of my time this evening. Stay tuned for that post, because… WOW. This is also the first time I am putting my recap on this blog first, so hopefully this will help to streamline the formatting a bit better.

BILL DEBLASIO

  • We need more help and more medical personnel, particularly for our public hospitals.
  • He has spoken with Trump.
  • The most crucial day for us is Sunday, April 5th. He says that after this day, he is afraid that we will need more of everything. This is a make or break day that will determine whether or not we can carry on as a city. He says that right now “we are not there”.
  • QUOTE: “Look, I have tried to work with the president and his team. We have to be working in this moment and agree on a common cause. That doesn’t mean that we agree, TO SAY THE LEAST. But I will always say when the white house does something to help us I will be thankful, and I will give credit when due. And when I think they’re missing something, I’ll say that too.”
  • Y’all, please take a second to unpack the shade in that last quote. Lol
  • CONT. OF QUOTE: “But I do think the notion that any, ANY, message is being put forward that this will be over by Easter is just… unfair. It’s not true. It’s not accurate, and it’s gonna mislead people and raise false hope. I have been honest, as I know the facts to be… that April will be tougher than March, and May could even be tougher than April. And if that becomes less true, if things get better, I’ll be the first to say it. But, I don’t want people to think this is gonna be easy when it’s not gonna be. I think people need to be ready for battle, and the hard truth helps people.”
  • There are 25,573 positive cases in New York City.
  • 366 New York City residents have been lost. That is 366 of our neighbors.
  • We have lost a public school principal, a custodian who works at police headquarters, a member or our transportation team, and a member of our city corrections team.
  • He read a list of all the public servants and nurses we have lost, and I cried because this list will only get longer every day.
  • QUOTE: “The human toll is what matters, and for everyone who says it’s about the economy and getting the economy back up, that’s just wrong. It’s about saving lives first. That’s what we believe here in this city.”
  • QUOTE: “I want to remind everyone, you cannot have an economic recovery if our healthcare system isn’t working. You can’t have an economic recovery if hundreds or thousands of people are dying. You can’t have an economic recovery if city governments and state governments are going bankrupt. That’s the reality we’re facing right now.”
  • The stimulus bill was an important step towards recovery, but we “sure as hell need more” if we’re going to keep our state and city running. We are not where we need to be yet.
  • QUOTE: “If that support doesn’t come, then anyone who harbors the illusion that we can have an economic recovery is putting the cart before the horse, to say the least. Recovery only comes when our people are whole, our people are safe, our healthcare system has recovered, our city and state governments are working… when we’re a functioning nation, that’s when we go into recovery.”
  • Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers are already unemployed, and they estimate it will be a half a million of us soon.
  • In the great depression, the unemployment levels in New York City hit 25%. We are well on the way to approaching that number here now.
  • If ever there was a time for a rent freeze, “it would be now”. He says we need a rent freeze for everyone who is rent stabilized, and have a conversation about freezing rent for everyone else as well. He says he will be having a conversation with the state about this immediately. (For those of you reading this who do not rent, he is speaking about freezing the mandatory rent increases on lease renewals. This means that if the state approves this measure, no one’s rent will go up in the next year. This does not mean we will not owe rent!)

MEDICAL NEEDS

  • Thank you to the federal government for sending us 2,500 ventilators.
  • HOWEVER, based on all available data, New York City will need 15,000 ventilators. So, folks… we ain’t there yet!
  • Last night, the talking anal wart he have in charge of our country (my words) said that he does not believe New York state will need 30,000 ventilators. Let’s be clear on this, De Blasio agrees with Cuomo. And, although Bill can’t say this in so many words, I can… Trump is wrong as wrong can be, and there is a special place for him in hell!
  • QUOTE: (this quote is prefaced by commentary about the situation in Elmhurst) “I do want to say that the president knows that area, his family coming from Queens, and he made very clear that he’s familiar with Elmhurst hospital and the area around it. I want to keep asking the president to keep Elmhurst hospital in mind, and realize that today it’s Elmhurst hospital in Queens, tomorrow it’s gonna be other hospitals in the city, and soon it’s gonna be hospitals in other parts of the country, and… since he can understand and relate to the borough of Queens, let that be the touchstone. Let that be the example that moves the federal government to maximum effort immediately.”
  • He thanks Trump for using the Defense Production Act to force GM to produce ventilators, and this begs the question… has Trump been lying about GM cooperating for the past few days? I would love it if someone from Detroit (my birth place) could weigh in on this!
  • There have been amazing efforts to make our own PPE at Brooklyn Navy Yard, but he needs more help from the federal government.
  • We have enough PPE to get to April 5th, but we need more PPE to get past that day.
  • As I type, 20 trucks are on the road delivering critical supplies to our hospitals.
  • All help is welcome, from anywhere in the world. If you have any PPE to donate, please call 1-833-NYC-0040. We need help immediately. If you have anything to give, please call.
  • 64 additional clinicians were sent to Elmhurst hospital today. Tomorrow 105 additional nurses will be sent to Elmhurst hospital.
  • The department of health website now has a map of all the hot spots around the city, but he says this information is only telling part of the story because of inconsistent testing procedures.
  • We know that some areas are showing up as hotspots because of their proximity to a hospital. He says that we know this is what’s happening with Elmhurst. People are going there because they know it’s a good hospital.

MOVING ON

  • We will continue to reduce our jail population.
  • By tonight, 450 inmates will have been released during this crisis.
  • He says that the majority of people have been respecting social distancing at our parks. But, the NYPD has been instructed to break up groups, gatherings, crowding and group sports.
  • They will be making a decision this weekend about whether or not they need to start fining people for not respecting the rules. The proposed fines would be up to $500 per incident. This means that if any member of the NYPD or the Parks Enforcement officers tells you to move along and you don’t do it, you will be fined.
  • After tomorrow night, they are going to make a decision about whether or not to keep playgrounds open.
  • Most churches have complied with social distancing. But, a small number of religious communities are still not complying. If you go to church this weekend in a large gathering, you will be broken up by the fire department or the NYPD.
  • Yesterday he was upset to learn that Spectre and THOSE GARBAGE BAGS AT ALTICE were preventing people from getting the internet they need to allow their children to learn at home. He has good news for us. He says he has stepped forward and stopped that practice. GOOD. Altice is THE WORST!
  • Thank you to the 750 clinicians working the phones at the health and hospitals hotline. In the last week, they have taken 23,000 calls. They are addressing people’s concerns about the virus and giving medical advice as to how people should handle their symptoms. In the event that someone needed to go to a hospital, they are also addressing where to go. (I don’t have this number, but I am sure you can get it from 311)
  • His spanish was extra cringe today. I’m white AF, and even I think his accent is hilarious.

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Categories
Andrew Cuomo New York City New York State

Press conference with New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo (3/27/20)

Here are my notes from Cuomo’s press conference today.. LIVE FROM JAVITS!

For those of who are not familiar with the Javits Center, I have attached a before and after photo at the end of this post. The bottom post is from one of the many years I’ve worked New York Comic Con at the convention center, and the top one is how the Javits looks today.

  • The Javits now looks “completely different”, and this was done within just one week! I have to say, this is an extremely surreal thing for me (or I’m sure any promo person) to see!
  • The increase in cases continues. We still see the trajectory going up.
  • We are intruding on people’s lives right now, but we are saving lives because of it.
  • The original mandate on schools was that they would be closed throughout March, and that the state would take another look at the situation on April 1st. However, schools will now remain closed until April 15th.
  • The 180 day requirement is waived for this period. I’m not a parent, so I don’t know what that means. But, whatever it means, that’s extended too.
  • Every school was asked to come up with a plan for distance learning and to continue providing meals for children, and schools will continue providing distance learning tools, as well as meals during this extension.
  • They now believe the apex of our curve will be in 21 days.
  • They are continuing their efforts to expand the hospital capacity and scout new locations for field hospitals.
  • We have 1.2 million N95 masks, with 340,000 on the way from the federal government. We need 20 million. (that makes us 18.5 million short)
  • We have 4.6 million surgical masks, with 860,000 on the way from the federal government. We need 30 million. (that makes us 24.5 million short)
  • We have 1.5 million exam gloves, with 350,000 on the way from the federal government. We need 45 million. (that makes us 43 million short)
  • We have 15,000 hospital gowns, with 145,000 on the way from the federal government. We need 20 million. (that makes us 19.8 million short)
  • We have 3,000 ventilators, with 4,400 on the way from the federal government. We need 30,000. (that makes us 22,600 short)
  • These numbers reflect our projected need at the apex of the curve.
  • We have 53,000 hospital beds. We need 140,000 beds. (this makes us 87,000 short)
  • We have 3,000 ICU beds. We need 40,000 ICU beds. (this makes us 37,000 short)
  • There are four emergency field hospitals being built. They are at The Javits Center, Westchester Center, Stony Brook, and Old Westbury. These will add 4,000 additional beds.
  • They are all coming along, but Javits is the closest to being complete.
  • They are seeking to build four more emergency field hospitals. These will give us another 4,000 beds.
  • The goal is to have one emergency field hospital in every borough, and help everyone equally.
  • IN THE BRONX – New York Expo Center. It is a 90k sq ft site.
  • IN QUEENS – The Aqueduct Race Track. It is a 100k sq ft site.
  • IN BROOKLYN – The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. It is a 182k sq ft space.
  • IN STATEN ISLAND – The College of Staten Island (a CUNY school). It is a 77k sq ft space.
  • This new plan will give us coverage all across the downstate area.
  • The USNS Comfort is on it’s way. It has 1,000 beds, 1,200 medical personnel, 12 operating rooms, a pharmacy, and a laboratory.
  • It will arrive on Monday.
  • They are also looking at converting college dorms, hotels, and nursing homes.
  • They are currently focused on the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge, and the Brooklyn Center Nursing Home.
  • The plan is for the first wave of field hospitals to be open during the week of 3/30/20 – 4/5/20.
  • A second wave of field locations to be open 4/6/20 – 4/12/20.
  • A third wave of field locations to be open 4/13/20 – 4/19/20.
  • So far, a total of 138,376 have been tested. 16,272 of those tests are new tests.
  • The total number of positives in New York state is now 44,635. The number of new positives in that total is 7,377.
  • The number of deaths is New York is now up to 519, which is up from 385 yesterday.
  • There are currently 6,481 people hospitalized in New York.
  • There are currently 1,583 ICU patients in New York. (+290 from yesterday)
  • 2,045 patients have been discharged so far. (+528 from yesterday)
  • 80% of people who get COVID-19 will self resolve.
  • New York is still the most affected state.
  • The rate at which our cases have been doubling is slowing.
  • There’s no place like New York. Believe that! New York strong!
  • The number of medical personnel that have volunteered has gone up to 62,447. That’s up 10,000 people in one day.
  • We now have 10,999 mental health professionals who volunteered to help in this crisis. That number has gone up by 1,400 in one day.
  • Congratulations to the army corp of engineers for their top shelf work on the Javits Center.
  • Thank you to the Javits Center staff, and to everyone who worked to make this happen.
  • This will not be a short deployment for the national guard and the navy. This will be a rescue mission, and it will take weeks. We are facing an enemy who attacks the weakest among us. It will be difficult.
  • “I promise you, I will not ask you to do anything that I would not do myself, and I will not ask you to go anywhere that I would not go myself” – Cuomo to the national guard.
  • This is a moment that will change this nation.
  • He gave a beautiful speech about how we will remember this day in ten years, but I’m honestly too emotional to watch it enough times to write the whole quote down. Watch the livestream! It happens around the 30 minute mark.
  • “We go out there today, and we kick coronavirus ass!” Yasss!

QUESTIONS

  • Once again, GET A MIC RUNNER! I can’t hear the question!
  • CUOMO: Yes, the ventilators are in a stock pile because they aren’t needed yet. They will be deployed when they are needed. To the second point, maybe we won’t need 30,000 ventilators. But, I don’t operate on opinions. The projections say we could need this. We are following the science and the projections.
  • QUESTION: *white noise*
  • CUOMO: As the numbers continue to increase, you’ll see hospitals hit capacity. You’ll see hospitals over capacity. To be alarmed that hospitals are reaching capacity, Ok well that is why we’re here at Javits.
  • QUESTION: fkgljdjskdjvsdvjs schools.
  • CUOMO: We’ll see what happens with schools, and if the numbers continue to go up we will extend the school closure.
  • QUESTION: ????????
  • CUOMO: To flatten the curve, there’s only two things you can do. Social distancing, and testing with isolation. They believe the social distancing is working to slow the spread.
  • QUESTION: *static*
  • CUOMO: The criteria for a field location is that you need a large open indoor space, with HVAC, with power, with accompanying space where you can set up medical staff, supplies, a staging area… you need a place that is now empty. My strategic decision was one per borough. The four new locations will be sent to the president today for approval.
  • QUESTION: *stares in frustration*
  • CUOMO: The federal government had implied that they would help state governments, and they didn’t. You can’t spend what you don’t have. We will have to make dramatic budget cuts. “The federal government gave us zero, nada, niete, ZILCH. Those are all New York terms, right?”
  • CUOMO: When they didn’t give us any aid, they knew it meant that we will have to cut education funds. It’s tragic. Did you hear that, America? THEY KNEW.
  • QUESTION: :-/
  • CUOMO: Rent freezes? We have said that there will be no evictions for the next three months. So, if you don’t pay rent for 90 days, you cannot be evicted. (He didn’t say this, but I’m pretty sure you still owe rent)
  • CUOMO: We are shutting down many construction sites.

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Categories
Bill De Blasio New York City

Press conference with New York City Mayor, Bill De Blasio (3/26/2020)

Next up, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio did a pretty underwhelming press conference right before Trump. Here are the highlights.

  • The situation in NYC is changing by the minute
  • We have supplies for the week, but after that it’s uncertain. 
  • We need federal help
  • We need to be able to turn around supplies quickly.
  • My favorite sign language translator is back! Yasss!
  • New York City has the largest public hospital system in the nation.
  • Elmhurst in Queens is now the epicenter of the crisis in NYC.
  • Elmhurst has been resupplied with ventilators four times this week.
  • 56 additional staff members have been sent to Elmhurst.
  • We need more support for Elmhurst, but they are doing the best they can.
  • Before Coronavirus, we had 20,000 fully supplied hospital beds. This used to be considered a big number. Now, not so much. We are attempting to triple the beds by May.
  • De Blasio says he can’t promise we will reach that goal.
  • The surge plans that the state put forward will add at least 7,000 beds quickly.
  • Everyone loves talking about the Javits Center in these things.
  • With the Javits and all of the other new field locations, we will now have 34,000 beds. The ultimate goal is 60,000.
  • He says he would love to report good news, but that he can’t depend on maybes from the government.
  • 500 new ventilators have come in from the feds, and 2,000 from FEMA. Half of these ventilators are here in NYC already. That is a sixth of what we will need. The goal is 15,000.
  • Soon we will be talking about making ventilators here in the city.
  • He does not believe the government is utilizing the defense production act enough.
  • On Friday we will get 50,000 face shields from the brooklyn navy yard. By Tuesday, that number will be over 100,000.
  • He says the hard work done by the people of New York in no way excuses our federal government of their responsibility to us. AND I AGREE.
  • They are continuing to look at releasing inmates that are not a threat to society, and to protect high risk inmates from the virus.
  • As of last night, 200 inmates had been released since the beginning of this process.
  • The jail population in New York City continues to decline. There are less than 5,000 people in our jail system right now. That number has not been this low since 1949.
  • The population of New York City is 8.6 million people.
  • By tonight, the number of people released from prison will go up to 375.
  • New York city’s jail population is now 4,906 people.
  • He asks the super markets to please remember to practice social distancing and insist on social distancing from staff and customers alike. If need be, tell people to make a line outside.
  • If you are having trouble enforcing social distancing in your store, please call 311 and you will get help.
  • If you are able to, please start having a senior citizen hour in the morning. This is not mandatory, but would be greatly appreciated.
  • He then bumbles through a few words in Spanish, and the ASL translator really looks like he is trying not to laugh. SAME! Someone seriously needs to do a spanish battle between him and bloomberg. Haha

QUESTIONS

  • QUESTION: Let’s talk about unemployment.
  • DE BLASIO: It’s staggering. A lot of people haven’t even been able to apply yet. We estimate that half a million New Yorkers are now unemployed. We need more help from the feds.
  • QUESTION: What about juvenile detainees?
  • DE BLASIO: We will have more to say soon, but we are less focused on them because COVID-19 is less threatening to them.
  • VERY VALID QUESTION: How come Cuomo can give us numbers about where the ventilators are and you can’t?
  • DEBLASIO: The numbers are moving too much. Things are changing too much. It’s not productive to give numbers that may not be true minute to minute.
  • QUESTION: Recreation centers. What’s the plan if someone gets sick? (He means enrichment centers for the children of essential workers) Will it be like the schools?
  • DEBLASIO: We have to keep those centers running. If we have someone get sick, they will be immediately taken out of the situation. But the centers will have to remain open.
  • QUESTION: Staten island – they have 1900 beds. 1200 already in use. No public hospitals. What about them?
  • DE BLASIO: We will continue to build out the hospital system. If we can send people outside the borough, we will.
  • QUESTION: Do any guidelines allow for reuse of PPE in case of a pandemic?
  • DE BLASIO: This is uncharted territory, so we may need to change standards when needed. We are working collaboratively with the CDC to keep up with changing standards.
  • QUESTION: Out of the 4,000 hospitalizations, how many are in public hospitals? How long until they go broke?
  • DE BLASIO: The city will continue to fund the hospitals. That is a sacred duty. Do not have separate numbers. Bills will come for hospitalizations because we will need the money, but it’s not our first thought.
  • PERSONAL NOTE: I have been a patient in the New York City public hospital system for many years. I contracted a life threatening case of the mumps in my 20s, and was hospitalized at Bellevue for an entire week. They saved my life. I would not be here without them. When all was said and done, I was out of work for over a month. A bill came for $30K in the mail, but I took it to the hospital and told them my situation. They let me clear the entire bill for just $150 because I was uninsured and out of work. The people in the New York City public hospital system are ACTUAL ANGELS, and I will forever be grateful to them! Please keep them in your prayers, and if you are a New Yorker be grateful to live in a city that has these resources!
  • QUESTION: Are you going to tour possible field hospitals with Cuomo? The reporter adds that she thinks it’s negligent that we are not getting daily numbers on cases and deaths in the city.
  • DE BLASIO: Yes, he’ll also be touring locations. He also says that her personal opinion is not a question, nor is it appropriate to voice in this forum.
  • QUESTION: What is the death toll at Elmhurst today? How does it compare to other hospitals?
  • DE BLASIO: Today they had 4. The number tracks with the number of people on ventilators. It’s a normal percentage for the number of people on ventilators.
  • QUESTION: Are you doing this triage ethics plan or not?
  • DE BLASIO: We are trying to avoid ever having to make those choices. We are not giving up on the notion that we can save everyone.
  • QUESTION: How did you pick the streets to close today?
  • DE BLASIO: Through a committee of city people.
  • QUESTION: What is the latest guidance for people who feel sick? How long should they wait to go to a hospital? What about testing?
  • STATE DOCTOR: Stay home 3 – 4 days. If you do not get better, reach out to a healthcare provider. Or if you get worse, go. People who test should be over 50, have one of the five underlying conditions, or people who are sick. Do not go if you are not in that group.
  • QUESTION: What do we protect at all costs?
  • DE BLASIO: fighting COVID-19, the NYPD, water, and things we need to live. He goes on to say how truly ridiculous it is that we are getting the same funding as someplace with very few cases like Idaho. AND I AGREE.
  • QUESTION: What about methadone clinics?
  • DE BLASIO: We have not heard of any shortages on methadone.
  • QUESTION: What about the internet? What do families do if they can’t afford the internet? We have heard reports that some companies are refusing service to people who have past due bills.
  • DE BLASIO: He said this has not been brought to his attention previously, but that it “really pisses him off” that any of these companies would refuse service right now since so many kids will need the internet for classes. He says he would gladly take legal action to prevent that from happening to anyone.

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Categories
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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Categories
Andrew Cuomo New York City New York State

Press conference with New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo (3/25/20)

A lot of you requested notes on Andrew Cuomo’s daily press conference, so here they are by popular demand! As you may or may not be aware, Governor Cuomo is now the unofficial president of the east coast. Don’t even bother trying to correct me on that! I SAID WHAT I SAID!

Anyway, here we go…

  • Our current status is that our trajectory for infections is still going up.
  • They are finding that 80% of all of our known positives self resolve, and 15% require hospitalizations. Now, I can’t be the only one looking at those numbers and wondering where the other 5% is? Unless I missed something, this was not addressed in this talking point.
  • They have more hospitalizations than they were originally estimating. This is a concern because it’s a strain on the hospitals.
  • They are currently expecting 140,000 cases coming into the hospitals, but the state of New York only has 53,000 beds.
  • They are currently expecting 40,000 ICU cases, but the state of New York only has 3,000 ICU beds. For the purpose of this discussion, an ICU bed is a bed with a ventilator.
  • Like Dr. Fauci said, we have to flatten the curve. New York will also have to increase hospital capacity. They have been working on this since day one.
  • I’m going to paraphrase a bit here, and say that my boy Andrew basically said to stay the fuck home. Young people, you can get this too. You are not a superhero. You can also transfer it.
  • The parks in NYC have been a problem, because people are not respecting the social distancing guidelines. He asked mayor Deblasio to come up with a plan to stop people from being idiots, and they have come to an agreement to try to mitigate the demand for public spaces. The plan is to close two major streets in each borough to traffic so that people can go outside for fresh air. stupid closing streets shit. I personally do not share their enthusiasm for this idea. But, the pilot program starts tomorrow and we’ll see how it goes.
  • They are now enacting mandatory social density limits in playgrounds. There are no close contact sports allowed. That means no basketball. You cannot do it. No fooling around. This measure is voluntary so far. But if people don’t comply, it will become mandatory, and the playgrounds will be closed. So, be responsible and don’t ruin it for everyone.
  • Evidence suggests that our density controls are working. On Sunday, the evidence suggested that hospitalizations were doubling every 2 days. On Monday, the evidence suggested that hospitalizations were doubling every 3.4 days. On Tuesday, the evidence suggested that hospitalizations were doubling every 4.7 days. Cuomo says this is almost too good to be true. But, he believes that this is a very positive sign.
  • Our distancing measures have been effective and necessary. We are slowing the hospitalization rates.
  • The apex need of hospitalizations is now predicted in 21 days. This is, of course, just a prediction and may change.
  • They are working to ramp up beds, staff and equipment.
  • Beds – between all current sources, if they get optimum results from our current efforts, we could have 119,000 beds available. That still leaves us 21,000 short. They are now also looking at hotels and nursing homes to find room for the other beds.
  • Right now there is enough PPE for all the hospitals in the state. Cuomo says that he believes we are secured for about three weeks.
  • Ventilators – The experts believe that we will need 30,000. There are currently 4,000 in the hospital system. The state has purchased 7,000 and is still shopping. The federal government sent 4,000. They are exploring splitting ventilators like Italy was forced to do if it comes to that point. They are still 17,000 short so far.
  • Staff – They are working on putting together a surge healthcare force. 40,000 people have responded to the call so far. This includes 2,265 physicians, 2,409 nurse practitioners, 938 physician assistants, 328 nurse anesthetists, 160 respiratory therapists, 16,367 RNs, and 4,016 LPNs. Thank you so much to all these true heroes!
  • 6,175 mental health professionals have also signed up to help us deal with our collective trauma during this time. The hotline number to reach a mental healthcare professional is 1-844-863-9314. You can call this number and arrange a time to speak with someone completely for free. Cuomo calls this beautiful, and I agree. Thank you to all of those people. I love New York for this!
  • He says that he has spoken with Trump and Kushner, and he says they were helpful. Everyone is cooperating and doing their best to get through this. Translation: if Cuomo doesn’t say nice things about Trump, he knows Trump will probably have a petty tantrum and literally cause deaths in our state. So, wtf, we love the federal government now! Here’s your participation trophy, Jared!
  • The state has purchased all the ventilators they can purchase, so now we are looking at ways to produce more. It is now a battle against time while all these companies, like Ford and GM, work out how to make these items.
  • “Rolling deployment” – New York is the first place to have a huge infection curve. Rather than saying we need to send ventilators to the whole country, Cuomo believes we should focus on one hot spot at a time. New York is first, and then we will move on to the next state with a terrible curve. We need America’s help, and we will send help in return when this is over. Cuomo promises to personally manage the redeployment of resources when our crisis is over, and will provide technical assistance to all future hot spots that need it.
  • We will send equipment and personnel to future hot spots.
  • Cuomo says the two trillion dollar deal in the senate will be terrible for New York. He says the deal will give us $3.8 billion dollars. He says this will leave us with a revenue shortfall of anywhere from nine billion to fifteen billion dollars. He says the response to the virus has already cost New York state a billion dollars. The relief package the senate is pushing for will only send New York City $1.3 billion, which is a drop in the bucket.
  • Cuomo spoke to our house members today about the state’s budgeting concerns. He says in the house bill, we got 17 billion. In the senate bill, we get 3.8 billion. The senate is claiming that we are a big spending state, which Cuomo says is not true. He says we have the lowest growth rate of a state budget in modern political history. We are frugal and efficient. He told the house that we really need their help. But, I personally think the senate is so focused on bailing out corporations that they may not hear this.
  • The total people tested is now up to 103,479. The total new tests from that number are 12,137 (numbers as of 3/23).
  • 28% of all testing nationwide has been done in New York State. This is more testing than anywhere else in the country.
  • Any hospital in New York can do testing. The drive thru locations have been deployed strategically in areas they expect to see high positives.
  • The total cases in New York state are now 30,811, with 5,146 being new cases.
  • There have been 17,856 cases in New York City. 2,952 of those are new cases as of 3/23.
  • Westchester is now slowing in numbers, which is a positive sign as they were the first place hit.
  • The virus is spreading across the state, as was expected.
  • 12% of the people who tested positive are hospitalized.
  • 3% of all positives are in the ICU. These people are predominantly older, or have pre existing conditions. These people are our parents, family and friends, and Cuomo says that we are going to protect them.
  • The second most impacted state is New Jersey with 3,675 cases. California is third with 2,644 cases.
  • Why are our numbers so high? His personal belief is that it’s because we welcome people from across the globe. We have a lot of international travelers. He believes the virus was here much earlier than we know, and he believes it was circulating here before anywhere else in North America. He also believes it’s because we are all so close. We have a high population density. We have close communities. Our closeness makes us vulnerable. But, he adds that “our greatest weakness is also our greatest strength, and our closeness is what makes us who we are.”
  • Here is a longer quote: “Our closeness is what makes us who we are. That is what New York is. Our closeness is what makes us special. Our acceptance, our openness, is what makes us special. It’s what makes us feel so connected to one another. It’s what makes us so accepting of one another. It is the closeness that makes us the human beings that we are. The closeness is that New York humanity that I think exists nowhere else. The closeness is what makes our sense of community.”
  • He then brought up a touching quote from his father, Mario Cuomo, and I cried ALL THE TEARS! I love this family!

QUESTIONS

  • QUESTION: Do we have a triage plan?
  • CUOMO: No, we believe we will not have to do that. Our goal is to save everyone.
  • QUESTION: Do we have distribution numbers for FEMA ventilators
  • CUOMO:  The ventilators are going to our stockpile, and will be given to hospitals as needed. We are still focused on acquiring them.
  • Someone accused him of not having ventilators that he should have had. Cuomo called his ass right out and said to get his facts straight. lol
  • QUESTION: How many resolved cases have there been?
  • CUOMO: Hundreds. Cuomo suggests looking at the John Hopkins numbers. Most people will recover. He also mentions that it will be helpful when we can test for the antibodies, because we will then know who can safely return to work.
  • QUESTION: What is the current availability of beds?
  • CUOMO: That is constantly changing, and we have more beds available to deploy if need be.
  • QUESTION: Who will man these ventilators?
  • CUOMO: We are looking for more doctors from all over the country.
  • QUESTION: What about the reports that New York will run out of beds by Friday?
  • CUOMO: We all saw the numbers in the presentation. We have multiple stockpiles of ventilators in the state.
  • QUESTION: Where are volunteer staff being deployed?
  • CUOMO: They are in reserve, we have not deployed them yet because we have not needed to yet.
  • CUOMO: We have relaxed some regulations in order to deal with the pandemic.
  • ME: Get a mic runner! I can’t hear the questions!!!!
  • QUESTION: What about people in jail in New York City?
  • CUOMO: Deblasio is dealing with that.
  • QUESTION: How will you resolve the economic issues here?
  • CUOMO: We need more help. Period.
  • QUESTION: How do you respond to Trump saying the cure is worse than the disease?
  • CUOMO: I believe that it’s part language. No one will say that it is sustainable to keep the country totally closed. It’s not. Everyone agrees that we should do everything we can to save a life. I do not believe that anyone’s life is disposable. He believes that there is a more refined strategy than what we are doing now. He says we have to restart our economy by bringing people who are less at risk back to work. But, basically, he said that there are levels to this shit and we’ll figure it out without killing people.
  • QUESTION: When the feds roll back restrictions does that affect you?
  • CUOMO: The government has done guidelines and let states decide how they handle them. So, basically… he said what they eat don’t make us shit!
  • QUESTION: (paraphrasing) What do you think of the president saying that NYC should basically be treated as a leprosy colony now?
  • CUOMO: (paraphrasing) The whole country has this virus, so you’re not about to treat us like untouchables. NEXT!
  • QUESTION: Will we need to resort to emergency loans?
  • CUOMO: If we don’t get funding, he does not know how we’ll balance the budget. He says this is not a time to play nice in the sandbox. He’s New York tough and he’ll fight for the people of New York. We need more help.

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Categories
Bill De Blasio New York City

Press conference with New York City Mayor, Bill De Blasio (3/24/20)

I took these notes before I had a blog format, so please forgive them for being a bit clunky!

• The city believes the worst of this crisis is still ahead for us. Mayor Deblasio says that he expects April to be worse than March, and fears that May could be even worse than April. He did not explicitly state a timeline for when things might return to normal, but I think those of us in NYC can safely assume the city will be on some level of lockdown for the next two months.


• Alternate side parking has been suspended until March 31st.


• The city has set up learning centers for the children of essential workers who can’t be home with their family. I do not have details as to how one gets your child into one of these centers.


• We are currently at 15,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York City. That number represents 85% of all cases in New York State, and a third of all cases in the country.


• The city estimates that we will need an additional 15,000 ventilators to avoid needless deaths from COVID-19. We were just sent 2,000 from the 4,000 our federal government sent to the state of New York. This still leaves us 13,000 short.


• The city has been in contact with Mike Roman of 3M, and he has committed to helping us get the masks we so desperately need for PPE. I did not catch the numbers needed/committed for this talking point.


• Our city is asking anyone who may have additional ventilators to donate their supplies, as New York City is now the epicenter of this crisis. Quite frankly, what I’m getting from the projections (me personally, not from Deblasio’s mouth) is that it’s starting to sound like New York City alone will eclipse the number of cases in Italy by next month.


• Deblasio wants to close two major streets in every borough in the hopes that the extra space will allow people room to go outside and get air while maintaining a 6ft separation from one another. He did not say which streets had been chosen. The pilot program is scheduled to begin on Thursday. There were many questions about this particular issue, and not that many answers. For one thing, if people don’t live near these major streets, how will they get there? Are we encouraging them to take public transportation? I personally don’t think that’s how a quarantine is supposed to work, but hey… I’m not the mayor. 🤷🏼‍♀️


• Our city budget is totally fucked. It will need to be balanced by June, and with that in mind the mayor has asked various departments to see where they might be able to cut costs. He says this will not mean layoffs, but it was unclear to me what budget cuts will be on the table.


• There is a concern that our hospital system will go broke in the coming months if we do not get federal aid. This is a constantly changing situation, and as of right now the city is doing everything they can to ensure our city’s healthcare is our number one priority. We are ensuring that both public and private hospitals get supplies during this crisis as if they are all the same.


• The past few days have had the lowest rate of reported crimes since our last blizzard. However, there had been a rise in the number of robberies being reported. The numbers going down have been things like sexual assault and domestic violence. The police commissioner says that he fears this is because people are simply not reporting these things. I would assume this is because some people may be sheltered in place with their abuser. If this applies to you, please call 311 and get help. I truly hope none of you are in that position!


• There are currently 211 members of the NYPD who have tested positive for the virus.


• If you are giving birth in a New York City public hospital during this crisis, your partner will be allowed in the room with you providing that they are not symptomatic and are wearing a mask.


• Citi Bike is offering a free 30 day membership to anyone who has been designated an essential worker during this crisis.


• We currently have 5,000 people in jail in New York City. In order to slow the spread of the disease to inmates, Deblasio would like to release anyone over 70, or who has the five most dangerous pre existing conditions, that has not been convicted of a violent crime. There were a ton of questions about this, but none of the answers I was looking for. How many people would be released and where do they go once they’re out? I’m sure there’ll be more to come on that subject in the future.


• Deblasio is refusing to release an emergency triage plan, explaining that we are not yet at the point of needing to prioritize anyone over anyone else.


• After speaking in English for 30 minutes, he said he would then say a few words in Spanish. And my… a few words, it truly was! He spoke in Spanish for less than one minute! Does anyone know if someone has made a Spanish parody account for him yet, like El Bloombito for Bloomberg? Lol, if not someone needs to get on it immediately!


• And lastly, my favorite part of the whole press conference was a reporter from Newsday calling Deblasio out for calling Italy “a hot mess” just a week and a half ago when they were at 15,000 cases. Oh, how the tables have turned! Deblasio said he was “misquoted” and did not apologize for his earlier remark.

IF YOU ARE ENJOYING THIS WEBSITE


Please consider donating a few dollars to help keep it going. Transcribing and recapping these press conferences is extremely time consuming. I do it because I passionately believe that everyone should stay informed, but it is undeniably a lot of work. If you would like to help me continue what I’m doing with this website, or just help to make sure I can afford food during this pandemic, please consider sending me a donation. I accept any amount, no matter how much, through Venmo (@Amydetriotgirl), Cashapp (@$carbetarian) and PayPal (carbetarian@gmail.com). Anything you can give will be appreciated!