Cuomo and other governors across the country are desperate to loosen restrictions and reopen closed businesses to help curb the epidemic that has already killed more than 33,300 people in the United States since its emergence from Wuhan, China, less than four months ago.
“The situation we are currently experiencing is not viable. People cannot stay at home during this time, they cannot remain without work. You cannot keep the economy closed forever. You just can’t, “Cuomo told me. “Society cannot manage this personally or economically. So now we are entering another phase, which is this reopening phase. “
Cuomo announced on Thursday that it is extending state closures of non-core businesses until May 15, as officials try to strike a delicate balance between workers returning to work without causing another spike in cases.
Cuomo said people have had a “nice break” but are anxious to get out of the house and go back to work without getting sick or dying. “Death is bad and even if staying at home and not receiving a paycheck is bad, it’s not as bad as death. It’s yin and yang here. “
While hospitals in New York City are not as swamped with coronavirus cases as expected, Cuomo said the state is far from claiming victory.
The number of new Covid-19 cases admitted to the hospital “is still around 2,000 a day and it is still very high,” he said. “And if you notice that it hovered around the same rate for several weeks. It peaked, but 2,000 is a very high number. “
Cuomo added that 630 people died Thursday of the coronavirus, another daily which “refuses to descend dramatically”. The number of deaths has been between 600 and 800 people per day for almost a week.
More extensive testing will be the “next frontier” in the state’s battle against the epidemic, but it doesn’t have a system capable of handling the volume required to begin easing restrictions. New York has 301 laboratories and hospitals licensed to perform virology testing, but the challenge will be to coordinate the efforts of each establishment to perform testing across the state, he said.
The Democratic Governor called on the federal government to help the state get supplies for further testing. Cuomo said that while state labs are able to purchase the coronavirus tests, they still struggle to get all of the chemical reagents needed to run them. He said the main supplier of chemical reagents was China.
“The federal government can’t wipe their hands and say,” Oh, the states are responsible for testing, “said Cuomo. “We can’t do it without the help of the federal government. I’m ready to do what I can do and more, but I’m telling you I’m not doing business with China, I’m not doing an international supply chain. “
Cuomo announced that he plans to sign an executive order directing all state-licensed public and private laboratories in New York to coordinate with the Department of Health to expedite diagnostic testing.
“The system does not do large-scale Covid testing,” said Cuomo. “This test in itself is complicated and expensive, and you don’t have the network that does it. He does not exist. “
During Cuomo’s press conference, President Donald Trump tweeted that the federal government had “built you thousands of hospital beds that you didn’t need or use, gave you lots of fans that you should have had and helped you test what you should do. “