New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo in his daily Press Briefing during COVID-19, Coronavirus pandemic has extended shutdown to May 15.
“The local lockdown will linger at least another month despite a sharp decline in the daily epidemic death toll, a hopeful sign that New York was finally beginning to bend the coronavirus curve, Gov. Cuomo said Thursday.
But Cuomo knew that 606 new deaths — a 20% drop from the previous day’s tally — was nothing to celebrate, reminding New Yorkers, and the White House, of the personal toll the tragedy is taking.
“We’re talking about human lives here,” the governor said. “You still have 2,000 people walking into a hospital and being diagnosed with (COVID-19). That’s still a lot of people.”
A person walks by a closed business on Thursday, April 16, in New York City. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced during his daily COVID-19 briefing that the “New York State on PAUSE” order will be extended until May 15, and shared plans to allow business to reopen in what he is calling a phased priority scale based on the risks posed.
At his daily coronavirus briefing, Cuomo said the daily death tally dropped from the 752 toll reported in New York state just a day earlier.
The numbers of newly critically-ill and intubated patients also dropped significantly for the first time since the epidemic swept across New York and the nation.
Still, Cuomo warned against a rose-colored glasses analysis. He cited a daily figure of hospitalizations, which has dropped from sky-high levels, but is still disturbing.
The governor also extended the state’s social distancing restrictions through at least May. 15, effectively shrugging off President Trump’s pie-in-the-sky musings about ordering the country back to work by May 1.
The White House says it has a conference call scheduled with governors to discuss its own hopes for a May 1 reopening in some states.
Cuomo also scoffed at Trump’s assertion that New York City is padding the coronavirus death toll by tabulating a separate category of probable COVID-19 deaths, including thousands who have died at home from apparent coronavirus symptoms without being tested.
People wait in line at The Campaign Against Hunger food pantry, Thursday, April 16, in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York. (Mary Altaffer/AP)
City officials said the number of infected people is also likely undercounted because thousands of people can’t or won’t be tested when sick.
“Why would New York City want to inflate the death toll? It’s bad enough as it is,” Cuomo said. “It is more bizarre than usual (to say) that anyone would want to do that.”
He also defended his newly-imposed edict that New Yorkers should wear protective masks whenever they use public transportation or taxis.
“I’m sorry that people don’t like wearing masks,” he said. “It makes all the difference in the world.”