WXXI AM News

Cuomo calls NY death toll from coronavirus 'beyond staggering'

Mar 30, 2020

Cuomo welcomes the USNS Comfort , which arrived in New York harbor today.
Credit Governor Cuomo's office

More than 230 New Yorkers died of the coronavirus in the past day, for a total of more than 1,200 so far, a number Gov. Andrew Cuomo called “beyond staggering.”

Cuomo, in his daily update on the virus, said hospitals and their workers are already overwhelmed, two weeks before the virus is expected to peak. He asked health care workers from around the nation to consider coming to New York to help. 

"We need relief. We need relief for nurses who are working 12-hour shifts, one after the other after the other,” Cuomo said. “We need relief for doctors. We need relief for attendants. So if you are not busy, come help us, please. And we will return the favor.”

The governor met with the leaders of hospitals from around the state, and said he’s building a shared “stockpile” of personal protective equipment that hospitals can share according to their need. They are also working out a way to share staff and distribute health care personnel to the places they are needed the most.  

Cuomo also answered President Donald Trump’s accusation Sunday that masks and other protective equipment were mysteriously disappearing from New York hospitals. Trump suggested someone might be stealing them out the back door, to sell on the black market. The president offered no evidence.  

"I don’t know what that means; I don’t know what he’s trying to say,” said Cuomo. “If he wants to make an accusation, then let him make an accusation. But I don’t know what he’s trying to say by inference.”

Cuomo, asked if he is “afraid” to tangle with the president right now, said "no" and that he considers himself “a tangler.” But he said participating in a political fight right now would be “un-American."