New York state braced for a wave of new COVID-19 cases next week after recording more than 500 deaths in a single day, bringing the total to nearly 3,000, Reuters reports. The toll is about the same like the one from the September 11, 2001, attacks.
New York City, the pandemic’s epicenter, has mere days to prepare for the worst of the novel coronavirus outbreak, said Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose city has suffered more than a quarter of U.S. coronavirus-related deaths. He pleaded for federal government help to end a shortage of medical staff and ventilators.
“I think somehow in Washington, there’s an assumption (that) there’s weeks to prepare,” de Blasio said on MSNBC. “There’s not weeks anymore. It is days now.”
The 24-hour death toll was 562, raising the New York state total to 2,935 fatalities, Governor Andrew Cuomo said. He said it was the “highest single increase in the number of deaths since we started.”
The September 11 attacks killed nearly 3,000 people, most of them at New York City’s World Trade Center, Reuters adds.
“Personally, it’s hard to go through this all day, and then it’s hard to stay up all night watching those numbers come in … and know that you’re in charge of the ship at this time,” Cuomo said.
De Blasio is asking for 1,000 nurses, 150 doctors and 300 respiratory therapists as the number of COVID-19 cases in the city is expected to rise sharply next week.
New York City has yet to receive a resupply for the up to 3,000 ventilators needed by next week, de Blasio said, urging President Donald Trump to mobilize medical personnel from the U.S. military.
“They are not mobilized for action,” de Blasio told WNYC radio. “The president has to give that order right now.”
New York City and state have both complained that federal resources have not reached them quickly enough, but Cuomo said Trump responded swiftly to a request he made on Thursday that a makeshift hospital at a Manhattan convention center be allowed to take in patients with the COVID-19 disease.