NEW YORK >> New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said today that he spoke with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence about the city’s urgent need for medical supplies to curb the spread of coronavirus.
“I spoke to President Trump and Vice President Pence last night in detail and I’m glad we had the conversation and I appreciated the focus of the conversation but what I need to see is the real material support for the people of my city, 8.6 million people who are right now in the crosshairs,” de Blasio said on CNN.
Federal aid to the city so far includes promises of temporary hospitals run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the military.
But de Blasio, a Democrat, says the city also desperately needs the federal government’s help getting medical supplies and equipment, including ventilators.
“We’re literally in that very tight window now that if we don’t get the ventilators in particular we will actually start to lose lives that could have been saved.”
The number of positive coronavirus cases in New York state surged to more than 20,000, with more than half the cases in New York City, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The city has emerged as a worldwide hotspot for the outbreak, with more than 12,000 known cases. Cuomo said the swift climb in numbers also is due to aggressive testing. The state is now testing 16,000 people a day, the governor said.
There have been 157 deaths in New York state. And there have been more than 2,500 hospitalizations in the state, with 621 ICU patients. State and city officials expecting a wave of more patients are scrambling to add more hospital beds.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough, and the vast majority recover. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.