New York state has recorded nearly 500 coronavirus-related deaths in a single day, bringing the statewide total to nearly 3,000, or about the same number killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday.
New York City has mere days to prepare for the worst of the novel coronavirus onslaught, the city’s mayor Bill de Blasio said and pleaded for federal government help to end a shortage of medical staff and ventilators.
The city has suffered more than a quarter of U.S. deaths in the outbreak.
“I think somehow in Washington, there’s an assumption (that) there’s weeks to prepare,” de Blasio said on MSNBC. “There’s not weeks anymore. It is days now.”
New York state recorded 2,935 fatalities over 24 hours, up from 2,373 a day earlier, Cuomo said. It was the “highest single increase in the number of deaths since we started,” he said.
The Sept. 11 attacks killed nearly 3,000 people, the majority of them at New York City’s World Trade Center.
De Blasio is asking for 1,000 nurses, 150 doctors and 300 respiratory therapists as the number of COVID-19 cases in the city is expected to rise sharply next week.
New York City has yet to receive a resupply for the up to 3,000 ventilators needed by next week, de Blasio said, urging President Donald Trump to mobilize medical personnel from the U.S. military.
“They are not mobilized for action,” de Blasio, a Democrat, told WNYC radio. “The president has to give that order right now.” Trump is a Republican.
More than 25% of the 6,058 U.S. coronavirus deaths tallied by Johns Hopkins University as of Friday morning were in New York City. Infections in the United States totaling 240,000 account for about 24% of the more than 1 million cases worldwide.
“We all know New York is bad but we know the worst is yet to come,” said Naila Shereen, an internal medicine specialist who rotates through various hospitals in New York.
New statistics on Friday confirmed that hundreds of thousands of Americans had lost their jobs because of the pandemic, although economists say the real figure is far more than that because huge swathes of the U.S. economy began shutting down last month to avoid spreading the virus.