With the World Health Organization saying the U.S. has the potential to be the next epicenter of coronavirus, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued his most dire warning so far amid the pandemic that has hit his state the hardest.
Cuomo said New York’s infection rate could be two weeks away from a crisis — with more than 40,000 people being treated in intensive care units.
He said that surge would overwhelm their hospitals that for now can only take 3,000 ICU patients across the state.
Cuomo added their hospitals need to increase capacity by a least 50% — as they only have a total of 53,000 beds, but they expect to need 140,000.
They are desperate enough to appeal to hotels to convert to temporary hospitals.
“I have no problem using the dormitories all across our state campuses — our CUNY campuses, our state university campuses. I’m speaking to hotel owners about taking over their hotels to put patients in. I will turn this state upside down to get the number of beds we need, but we need the staff for those beds.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is sticking to his guns with his message that he wants to open up the country by Easter — much sooner than most health experts suggest.
On Monday evening, Trump said he cannot let the economy suffer any longer, and the cure of lockdowns and shutdowns may be worse than the disease.
“At some point we can open up our country and it’s going to be fairly soon.”
“I’m not looking, I’m not looking at months. I can tell you right now. We’re going to be opening up our country jumpcut but you can’t keep it closed for the next, for years. Ok. This is going away. We’re going to win the battle.”
Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, senators said they are closing in on the latest aid package, a nearly $2 trillion measure aimed at easing the economic damage inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic.
As of Tuesday, the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University reports the U.S. now has more than 50,000 cases of COVID-19, with at least 600 deaths.
New York has more than half the country’s cases.