New York City could run out of basic medical supplies in two or three weeks, Mayor Bill de Blasio warned, as he blamed President Donald Trump for the shortage.
The liberal mayor told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that New York’s hospitals are not ready for a coming surge in coronavirus patients, as the number of cases in the city has continued to increase rapidly. The New York Post has reported that DeBlasio did not order emergency supplies until March 6.
“Ventilators, surgical masks, and surgical gowns — really basic stuff. We’re deeply concerned about where we’re going to be in a few weeks,” de Blasio told Cooper. “Here’s the problem. The federal government is absent in this discussion right now.”
NYC mayor warns of supply shortage
De Blasio has declared New York City the “epicenter” of COVID-19 in the United States, with infections more than doubling in a single day on Thursday to 4,000. There were more than 4,400 cases as of Friday afternoon, accounting for more than half the state’s total infections, CBS reported.
As the virus continues to fester, the mayor is warning that New York is now just weeks away from running out of critical medical supplies — an emergency he has blamed on President Trump. In the interview with Cooper, he compared Trump to the Great Depression-era President Herbert Hoover and said that the president hasn’t done enough to help close the gap.
“President Trump, at this point, is the Herbert Hoover of his generation,” he said. “There is a massive national crisis going on, and he is consistently late and very marginal with what he does. He’s taking actions that are far, far behind the curve and aren’t addressing the core concerns.”
De Blasio has continued to blame Trump for the shortage. But the New York Post reports that de Blasio appears to have waited until March 6 to place an emergency order for masks and hand sanitizer. De Blasio warns that the city needs millions more masks and thousands of ventilators to avoid running out in April.
New York in crisis
De Blasio has taken drastic steps to stop the virus’s spread, including a shuttering of the city’s bustling restaurants and bars, and a “shelter in place” order that requires people to stay home unless necessary. Governor Andrew Cuomo seemed to be just a step behind de Blasio’s quarantine orders when he ordered all “non-essential” workers in the state to stay at home on Friday.
Cuomo said the state is on “pause” and that all “non-essential” businesses must close.
“This is not life as usual. Accept it. Realize it. And deal with it,” he said Friday.
At times, Cuomo and de Blasio have appeared to talk at cross purposes. Cuomo has resisted draconian measures like “shelter in place,” for example, but the governor does appear to be catching up to the mayor’s more stringent restrictions.
New York City has the majority of the state’s roughly 7,100 cases. Westchester County, just north of the city, has nearly 1,100 cases. Suburban Long Island has over 1,000 cases in Nassau and Suffolk counties, collectively, and infections are scattered throughout the state.