As another 630 New Yorkers died of the new coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday issued an executive order that directs all public and private New York state labs to coordinate with the Department of Health on ensuring prioritization of diagnostic testing for public health.
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630 MORE DEATHS IN NEW YORK STATE
While ICU admissions and total hospitalizations — under 17,000, Cuomo said — for coronavirus are again down statewide, 2,000 new people with infections continue to be admitted to hospitals each day. And 630 people in New York state lost their lives between midnight Wednesday and midnight Thursday, Cuomo said, up from 606 the day before. It's only the third dip below 700 daily deaths in last 10 days. 590 of the patients who died Thursday were in hospitals, the state said, and 40 in nursing homes.
Citywide, as of 6 p.m. Thursday, there were 122,148 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an estimated 32,843 hospitalizations, and 12,199 deaths (7,890 confirmed and 4,309 probable).
The borough-by-borough breakdown of confirmed cases, with some fluctuation in the numbers:
- Queens: 37,447 confirmed cases
- Brooklyn: 32,499
- The Bronx: 27,014
- Manhattan: 15,952
- Staten Island: 9,166
Cuomo reported New York state had seen, as of midnight Thursday, 229,642 confirmed coronavirus cases and 12,822 deaths (the state is currently not including probable COVID-19 fatalities in its death count, although Cuomo says it is considering it).
Speaking at his daily coronavirus press briefing in Albany, Cuomo said a fully synchronized statewide testing process is what the state needs to begin a reopening, but he stressed New York cannot do it without federal help. According to the governor, the chemicals necessary to perform tests come from China. “I don’t do China relations,” the governor said, calling the process “mayhem.”
TRADING SHOTS WITH TRUMP
It all started with a tweet. During Cuomo’s briefing, a reporter read Cuomo what President Donald Trump had tweeted minutes before:
Cuomo reacted in real time.
“Let's respond to the president. First of all, if he's sitting home watching TV, maybe he should get up and go to work, right?” Cuomo said. “Let's keep emotion and politics out of this, and personal ego, if we can, because this is about the people.”
The governor spent nearly ten minutes responding to Trump. He also addressed the implication that he, and by extension New Yorkers, have been ungrateful for all the support received from Trump and the federal government.
"I don't know what am I supposed to do? Send a bouquet of flowers? They were very helpful on Javits [Center], very helpful on sending the U.S. Navy ship Comfort,” the governor said. “They were very helpful in intervening with China and getting PPE equipment out of China. They were very helpful in helping us find ventilators. I said thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you."
On Friday night, Trump held his own briefing with his team of experts that lasted close to two hours. And while some were expecting the president to publicly answer Cuomo, perhaps even pugilistically, he instead kept his cool. The most Trump would say about the situation in New York regarding federal assistance was this:
“In terms of the US Comfort, they didn’t really need it. Didn’t get much use, but it was there and ready,” the preisdent said. “Same with Javits. But they didn’t quite need the beds we produced.”
Meanwhile, Cuomo criticized Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to close city pools. Much as he did when de Blasio said schools would be closed for the rest of the academic year, the governor said closure decisions need to be made in conjunction with the state otherwise neighborhood communities with less restrictive rules could be overwhelmed.
“These decisions are all interconnected. What you do with your beaches affects me,” the governor said. “It can be beaches, it can be parks.”
This story included reporting from Zack Fink.
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