New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that the number of COVID-19 cases in the state has not slowed despite a statewide stay-at-home order. According to the governor, the rate of cases is now doubling about every three days.
"We haven't flattened the curve, and the curve is actually increasing," Cuomo said.
- Read more:
He said the anticipated need for the height of the curve is 140,000 hospital beds and approximately 40,000 ICU beds. "Those are troubling and astronomical numbers," he said, noting that they are higher than previously projected.
There are currently 53,000 hospital beds and 3,000 ICU beds available, he said.
Cuomo said that the "dramatic increase" in infections means the state's apex — the peak of coronavirus cases — could now be as close as approximately 14 to 21 days away.
"One of the forecasters said to me we were looking at a freight train coming across the country," he said. "We're now looking at a bullet train, because the numbers are going up that quickly."
The governor pleaded with the federal government for help procuring desperately needed ventilators, as well as personal protective equipment and hospital beds. New York has procured about 7,000 ventilators, according to Cuomo, but needs an additional 30,000 ventilators, "at a minimum."
"In many ways we have exhausted every option available to us," he said.
"There is no other way for us to get these ventilators. We've tried everything else. The only way we can obtain these ventilators is from the federal government. Period."
Cuomo said that the private sector on its own will not act fast enough.
"We're looking at an apex of 14 days, if we don't have the ventilators in 14 days it does us no good," he said.
Cuomo called on President Trump to use the Federal Defense Production Act and release the 20,000 ventilators currently sitting in a national stockpile.
"I do not for the life of me understand the reluctance to use the Federal Defense Production Act," he said. "We need the federal help and we need the federal help now."
New York state is now "on pause" in an effort to fight the pandemic. In New York City alone, there are more than 13,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and at least 125 people have died from the virus.