Cuomo issues nationwide plea to doctors and nurses: “We need you now”

Photo by Darren McGee, Office of the Governor
March 30, 2020 — New York City, NY — Governor Andrew Cuomo delivers a coronavirus press briefing at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo spent National Doctor’s Day updating New Yorkers about the COVID-19 outbreak in New York and thanking health care workers who are dedicating their time to treating the influx of patients.

New York state has far surpassed every other state in the country in both testing and positive cases.

New York tested more than 14,000 patients for COVID-19 on Sunday and currently has an active 66,497 cases as of Monday afternoon. There is only one county in the state without a case, as of Monday.

New York saw a substantial jump in deaths from 965 on Sunday morning to 1,218 Monday, March 30. Additionally, there were 1,014 new hospitalizations of coronavirus patients and 315 admitted into ICU in New York state on Sunday alone.

Speaking from the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan, which was recently converted into a 1,000-bed temporary hospital, Cuomo said, “As the numbers continue to increase, the situation is becoming painfully clear that the front line battle of this virus will be fought in our healthcare system.” The convention center is accepting its first patients today.

“We need more health care professionals, we need more supplies, we need more capacity and we need it now.”

The task ahead for New York’s health care workers was the focal point on Monday afternoon’s press conference. Health care workers are on the front-lines of the pandemic, working multiple 12-hour shifts a week in order to test and treat patients.

Cuomo asked the public to consider these individuals who he called, “the troops fighting this battle for us.” Both he and President Trump are referring to the pandemic as a “war” and emphasized the role of medical workers as soldiers in the fight against COVID-19.

The governor acknowledged New York’s efforts in flattening the curve and said the second most important mission — after social distancing — is to ensure medical professionals have the supplies and manpower they need to fight the virus.

Cuomo expressed frustration with the New Yorkers who aren’t taking the stay-at-home order seriously. “It wasn’t ‘It would be nice if you did,’ it was a mandate,” Cuomo said. The responsibility of the public includes staying home and avoiding proximity and density.

Cuomo is also pleading with nurses and doctors across the nation to come help New York. “I am asking health care professionals across the country, if you don’t have a health care crisis in your community please come help New York now.” Cuomo promised to reciprocate when New York’s cases begin to fall and other states need New York’s medical personnel.

He emphasized the severity of the disease’s contagious nature when he said he recognized the worst is yet to come, “there is no American who is immune to this virus.”