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‘The Worst Is Over’: Cuomo Looks at Life After Virus as New York Death Toll Tops 10,000

‘The Worst Is Over’: Cuomo Looks at Life After Virus as New York Death Toll Tops 10,000More than 10,000 New Yorkers have died due to the coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday as he tried to assure his state that “the worst is over” in the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States. “I believe the worst is over if we continue to be smart. I believe we can start on the path to normalcy,” Cuomo said at a press conference in Albany after noting the death toll reflects a “horrific level of pain and grief and sorrow.” “The terrible news is as terrible as it gets, and the worst news I’ve had to deliver to the people of this state as governor of New York, and the worst news I’ve had to live with on a personal level,” he added.On Easter Sunday, 671 more people died from the virus, bringing the total fatalities across the state to 10,056 and the number of infected individuals to 190,288—accounting for almost 35 percent of the total reported cases in the U.S. Cuomo Says Coronavirus Is ‘More Dangerous’ Than We Thought as N.Y. Cases Jump OvernightDespite the devastating new milestone, Cuomo declared that the most horrific phase of the deadly pandemic has passed in New York. Overnight, the daily number of new deaths had dropped, the number of newly hospitalized patients is at the lowest the Empire State has seen in two weeks, and the number of patients on ventilators has also decreased, the governor said. He added that the continued high death toll is a result of patients succumbing to the virus after falling sick weeks ago, and he praised the “heroic efforts of health-care workers, police officers, transportation workers who showed up to drive those trains and buses every day” in helping the state to flatten the curve so quickly. “The curve continues to flatten,” Cuomo said, later warning that “the worst is over, and can be over unless we do something reckless.”“You can turn those numbers in two or three days by being reckless,” he added. “The number is down because we brought the number down… a lot of pain and suffering did that.”Cuomo said officials are already preparing a “gradual phased process” to reopen the state but it will rely on widespread and “aggressive” antibody and diagnostic testing. Comparing re-starting economic activity in the state to “opening a valve,” Cuomo said his administration is determined to “do it carefully, do it slowly, and do it intelligently.”“None of this has been done before,” Cuomo said. “Also, you look around the world, you see warning signs from countries that have reopened.”Cuomo: New York Saw ‘Deadliest Day’ in Coronavirus Pandemic But ‘We’re Flattening the Curve’The Empire State is also pushing for testing that will ultimately allow residents who have already had the virus—or are immune to it—to return to public life sooner. Ideally, Cuomo said every New Yorker would take an antibody or diagnostic test before returning to work, or entering a nursing home or hospital. The New York State Department of Health has developed a COVID-19 antibody test, and state officials are working with the FDA to get it approved; however, New York currently has the capacity to do only 300 tests per day.In addition to requesting “millions” more tests, Cuomo called on the Trump administration to use the Defense Production Act to compel companies to make tests because he doesn’t think the private sector will do it on its own. He added that even with testing, the United States won’t be able to move past the virus until a vaccine is developed in the next year to 18 months. “You’re going to need federal support and you’re going to need legislation that attends to the need,” he said, adding that he plans to speak to governors in neighboring states to develop coordinated reopening plans. “This is a time for smart, competent, effective government… the optimum is a geographically coordinated plan.”Cuomo and five other governors announced their plans for a coordinated effort in a Monday press conference, stating that New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Delaware—also known as the “COVID corridor”—plan to weigh the public health risks together before allowing companies to resume operations. By working with their neighboring states, Cuomo said, they hope to minimize the resurgence of the virus that easily crosses state boundaries. “I think this regional compact is premised on the idea that you’re not going to have a healthy economy if you have an unhealthy population, so we’ve got to do both,” Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said on Monday. The decision to work together came only hours after President Donald Trump tweeted that only he has the power to “open up” the United States. Despite stressing that he is not “interested in political opinions,” in regard to opening back up for business, Cuomo did comment during his Monday morning press conference on the possibility that Trump may fire Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.New York Has Seen Worst of Coronavirus but Testing Is Major Roadblock to Reopening“As you’re walking through these uncharted waters, I think he’s been extraordinary,” Cuomo said after previously stating he is only “interested in what the experts say” about the outbreak. “As crazy as things get in this world… I can’t imagine that would ever happen.”But before officials can devote their attention to testing, New York still needs to combat the continued surge and relieve hospitals, makeshift morgues, and funeral homes that continue to be overwhelmed by the pandemic’s effects.Cuomo said Thursday that “about 2,000 people per day are walking in [to hospitals] and are being diagnosed with COVID,” putting already overwhelmed and understaffed hospitals in duress. According to one NYU Langone doctor, while New York state officials are now looking for life after the virus, medical workers on the frontlines of this highly infectious virus are still trying to help patients with limited protective equipment. “New York may be seeing a plateau, but hospitals are still seeing crazy numbers of patients,” the doctor told The Daily Beast on Monday after Cuomo’s press conference. “We’re just struggling to keep out heads above water every day, and while the worst may be over for the state—I can’t say health-care workers are anywhere near a reprieve from the madness.” Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

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Trump just gave the worst speech of his presidency

Trump just gave the worst speech of his presidencyOn Friday afternoon, Donald Trump gave the worst speech of his political career.He appeared at the podium in the Rose Garden half an hour late. He looked and sounded exhausted. He stumbled over the word "coronavirus" in his very first sentence and seemed to struggle at a number of points throughout his address. His wonted improvisations and other departures from the script did not suggest his usual ease. He sounded very much like what one suspects he is: a tired and confused senior citizen.The problems with Trump's speech were not limited to the manner in which it was delivered. Among other things, he ought to have secured a deal with Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats before speaking. His emphasis on the extraordinary achievements of such noted public servants as the CEO of Walmart (whose stock price is surging as I write this) did not exactly inspire confidence that the most important thing in this ordeal is public health and safety, as opposed to corporate profits. The bizarre round-table approach that brought everyone from public health officials to business leaders to the vice president (who said some genuinely touching things about the elderly) before the podium was confusing. It was nice of the president to remind us that "so many of the great sports we've gotten used to" have been put on hold. I was surprised that he did not once mention the 41 Americans who have already died of the virus until well into the question-and-answer portion of the proceedings, when he misstated the number.It is too early to say whether the various new measures Trump announced will be effective. (Some of the obviously sensible ones — waiving interest on federal student loan debt, for example — are likely to be lost in the confusion.) I, for one, think it is still likely that much of the media response to the virus has been hysterical, and that in two months schoolchildren across the country will longingly remember the time they got three extra weeks of spring break. But that is not relevant to my assessment of Trump's performance on Friday. On arguably the biggest stage of his presidency, he not only failed to give the impression that he was in control of the situation, he looked about as ready to handle a crisis as Joe Biden is to speak calmly to elderly voters in Iowa or quote the Declaration of Independence.Agreeing to take questions following his prepared remarks was almost certainly a mistake. In the coming days and weeks and months, Trump will have virtually unlimited opportunities to attack the legacy of the Obama administration. This was not the occasion for it. In so many other contexts, Trump's disdain for the press is defensible and even amusing. Friday it made him seem petty. And it is never a good idea for a president in the face of a crisis to tell the country that he takes "no responsibility" for anything (in this case, delays in virus testing). Taking responsibility is what the office is all about.These impressions will not go away. They will certainly outlast the pandemic. No American will remember the day that President Trump addressed the nation on the subject of the coronavirus pandemic the way they remember Ronald Reagan's response to the Challenger disaster. If we have any lasting impressions they will be of an enervated, verbally infelicitous elderly man attempting to speak to realities that he is only half aware of ("unlike websites of the past"). The best thing he can hope for is that many of us will feel that Trump perfectly captured the national mood of alternating feverish speculation and exhaustion.Want more essential commentary and analysis like this delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for The Week's "Today's best articles" newsletter here.More stories from theweek.com Why Trump fears Biden Trump says he doesn't 'take responsibility at all' for lack of coronavirus testing Trump keeps bashing Obama's swine flu response. His own response to coronavirus has been much slower.

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