Deaths from the coronavirus in New York state suffered a terrible spike on Tuesday — with more than 700 deaths in a single day, its biggest increase so far — and more New Yorkers have now died from coronavirus than in the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
But in more hopeful news, Dr. Mehmet Oz came forward in an appearance on Fox News Monday and pointed to signs that the number of new COVID-19 cases in New York may be hitting a “plateau.”
“If this week does not reveal more new cases coming in compared to last week, that is the top of the mountain and then we’re going to start skiing downhill which is a lot easier,” Oz said.
For weeks, reports coming from the city — an ordinarily restless metropolis and global capital, suddenly at a freaky stand-still — of overwhelmed hospitals have spooked Americans all over. But in recent days, authorities have cautiously pointed to signs that the rate of hospitalizations, if not deaths, is dropping in New York.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has in recent days welcomed signals that his state is getting control of the pandemic, while urging residents to remain vigilant. Dr. Oz said that New York may learn this week if they are truly getting past the pandemic, but New York does appear to be riding a plateau. He added that health centers have a balancing act to play when it comes to treating new patients and keeping abreast of equipment needs.
“The number of new cases this week is not more than the number of cases last week. That’s a plateau,” he said.
Dr. Oz also boosted chloroquine, a drug that Trump controversially called a possible “game changer” in the fight against coronavirus. Cuomo called the drug “anecdotally positive” and “promising” on Monday.
New York records worst day
Though new coronavirus cases in New York seem to be plateauing, the tragedy isn’t over. On Tuesday, New York City passed a terrible milestone: more New Yorkers had died of the coronavirus than in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, with more than 3,200 dead from the virus, the Associated Press reported.
Meanwhile, New York state recorded its biggest jump in deaths since the outbreak started there, with 731 deaths statewide on Tuesday. A day earlier, Cuomo had declared the death rate “effectively flat.”
Despite the grim toll, Cuomo called the new deaths a “lagging indicator” that likely reflects the deaths of patients hospitalized earlier. The number of new hospitalizations has generally been decreasing, and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said that the number of patients who need ventilators has “improved.”
With over half the nation’s deaths and about a third of the cases, New York state is the single hardest-hit part of the country so far. The government has taken extraordinary measures, like the conversion of the Javits Center into a makeshift hospital, to “flatten the curve” and ease the pressure on the city’s hospitals.
Tuesday’s devastation comes days after President Trump and his top team of experts warned Americans to prepare for a solemn week of loss, even as Trump sought to give Americans hope that there is a “light at the end of the tunnel.”