The number of coronavirus victims is climbing, and President Donald Trump continues to hold his daily briefings on the crisis. In his Monday briefing, Trump revealed that pandemic is beginning to hit close to home.
“You see the numbers like I see the numbers,” Trump said to assembled reporters at a White House press conference on Monday.
“I have some friends who are unbelievably sick,” he continued. “We thought they were going in for a mild [hospital] stay, and in one case he’s unconscious in a coma. You say, ‘How did that happen?”
It’s personal now
Trump described the unnamed comatose friend as “a tough person,” and expressed surprise at how rapidly his condition escalated.
The president didn’t indicate where these individuals were located, but Trump himself used to live in New York City prior to assuming office, and thus far it’s been the place where COVID-19 has hit the hardest.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Big Apple had recorded nearly a thousand coronavirus fatalities. A Navy hospital ship docked in New York on Monday to help take the pressure off of overloaded hospitals.
“There she is,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared as he greeted the vessel’s arrival at a Manhattan dock. “If there is ever a time that we need to work together it is today.”
“The president is right,” Cuomo continued, “this is a war. And what does this nation do when it’s at war? It comes together and it acts as one.”
New York’s mayor under fire
Meanwhile, the city’s mayor, Bill de Blasio has come under scrutiny for his response to the crisis early on. During a recent interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, de Blasio appeared annoyed that prior statements that he made were being brought up.
“There’s no time to go back over that; there’s only time to focus on getting through the next week and the week after that,” he told Tapper.
De Blasio argued that “the time to deal with these questions is after this war is over. Because literally here in New York City, it feels like a wartime environment.”
As late as March 2, the mayor was advising New Yorkers “to go on with your lives” and “get out on the town despite Coronavirus.”