New York governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday called on other states to pay attention to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak in New York as an example of what to expect in the coming weeks.
“New York is going first. We have the highest and the fastest rate of infection. What is happening to New York is going to wind up happening to California, and Washington state, and Illinois,” Cuomo said at a press conference. “Where we are today, you will be in three weeks or four weeks or five weeks or six weeks. We are your future.”
As of Tuesday morning, New York recorded 25,665 cases of coronavirus, according to Cuomo. A majority of cases are concentrated in New York City and the surrounding areas. Cuomo warned that the number of cases would increase sharply in the coming days.
“The inescapable conclusion is that the rate of infection is going up. It is spiking,” Cuomo said. “The apex is higher than we thought and the apex is sooner than we thought. That is a bad combination of facts.”
The governor repeated a plea to the Trump administration to use the Defense Production Act to ramp up production of ventilators needed to help coronavirus patients breath, and criticized the Federal Emergency Management Agency for sending what he said was an inadequate supply of ventilators to the state.
“FEMA is sending us 400 ventilators… 400 ventilators? I need 30,000 ventilators,” Cuomo said. “You want a pat on the back for sending 400 ventilators? What are we going to do with 400 ventilators when we need 30,000 ventilators?”
The coronavirus outbreak in New York has surpassed the number of confirmed cases in the entire countries of Iran and France. Due to the large number of cases, on Monday Florida governor Ron DeSantis announced he would sign an executive order mandating a 14-day self-quarantine for all travelers flying from New York City to Florida. The order is the first restriction on U.S. domestic travel imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I would reckon that given the outbreak there, that every single flight has somebody on it who is positive for COVID-19,” DeSantis said at a press conference.