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The unsolicited, coast-to-coast show of support comes as Cuomo revealed that a plane from China packed with 1,000 of the machines is scheduled to land later Saturday in New York City, the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic. That donation came to fruition after New York held talks with China.
“This is a big deal and it’s going to make a significant difference for us,” Cuomo said, thanking the Chinese government and others who facilitated the move.
“It’s also smart from Oregon’s self-interest – they see the fire spreading, stop the fire where it is before it gets to my home,” he added.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown tweeted that her state is sending over the materials because they are in a “better position right now” than New York, and that “we must do all that we can to help those on the front lines of this response.”
Cuomo says New York’s coronavirus death toll has reached 3,565 Saturday, an increase of 630 from the day before. The leap set a new record for the state’s highest single-day death toll increase.
Healthcare workers wheel the body of a deceased person during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in the Brooklyn borough of New York City on Thursday. (Reuters)
And although two-thirds of the coronavirus patients who have been hospitalized there have been discharged, New York is still about a week away from hitting its apex in terms of the number of overall cases, Cuomo said. Right now, there are 113,704.
“Part of me would like to be at the apex and just, ‘let’s do it’,” he said. “But there is part of me that says it is good we are not at the apex because we are not yet ready for the apex either… we are still working on the capacity of the [health care] system and the more time to improve the capacity of the system the better.”
Cuomo pointed to Long Island as a rapidly emerging hotspot, as the region east of New York City now has 22 percent of the state’s overall coronavirus hospitalizations, up from 17 percent yesterday. Locals in affluent communities there have blamed New York City residents for spreading the virus after some of them fled the Big Apple to hunker down in their summer homes.
Once the outbreak settles, Cuomo said the U.S. also needs to take a hard look at its manufacturing capabilities.
“China is remarkably the repository for all of these orders, ventilators, PPE — it all goes back to China,” he said. “Which long-term, we have to figure out why we wound up in this situation where we don’t have the manufacturing capacity in this country.
“I understand supply chain issues, the cost of manufacturing – but, there is a public health reason as we have all learned the hard way, why we need the capacity in this country to do this,” he added.