New York recorded its highest single-day death toll due to the coronavirus for a third straight day: Governor Andrew Cuomo said that 799 people died from COVID-19 on Wednesday.
Cuomo said more than 7,000 people in the state have now lost their lives because of the virus. He called it a silent explosion rippling through society with "the same randomness, the same evil, that we saw on 9/11."
He said that September 11, 2001 was "supposed to be the darkest day in New York for a generation." Terror attacks that day killed 2,753 people in New York City.
"9/11 was so devastating, so tragic, and then in many ways we lose so many more New Yorkers to this silent killer," he said, referring to COVID-19.
"You can't relax"
Cuomo said efforts to slow the spread of the virus, which have included social distancing and school and business closures, are working. He said the state is flattening the curve – "a direct consequence to our actions."
But Cuomo urged New Yorkers to be disciplined and unified, and stay at home. "Sometimes it's not about you, right? It's not about me, it's about we. And that's where we are," he said.
"We can't handle the worst-case scenarios," he said. "We can't even handle the moderate-case scenarios, with all we've done. So it is essential that we keep that curve flattened because we don't have an option of handling the curve if it goes higher."
"You can't relax," he said.
New York to new open testing sites in African American and Latino communities
Cuomo announced New York would open new testing facilities in predominantly African American and Latino communities, which have seen higher fatality rates.
"Let's learn how and why this virus kills, especially why we have higher fatality rates among African Americans and Latinos. Let's understand it, but let's also address it," Cuomo said.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams told "CBS This Morning" that African Americans are more likely to have preexisting medical conditions, which make them vulnerable to COVID-19.
Contributing: Justin Carissimo