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New Yorkers Prepare to Shelter in Place as Hospitals Face Severe Shortages

HeadlineMar 18, 2020

In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that all 8.6 million city residents may soon be asked to shelter in place, with a decision expected within 48 hours. Governor Andrew Cuomo quickly contradicted the mayor’s warning.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo: “No city in the state can quarantine itself without state approval. And I have no interest whatsoever and no plan whatsoever to quarantine any city.”

Governor Cuomo has slammed the Trump administration for inaction. He said New York has only about 4,000 ventilators — critical tools in keeping patients with severe respiratory problems alive. A government task force warned New York could be short by some 16,000 ventilators at the peak of the crisis. Cuomo said that peak will occur in about 45 days. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo: “They are expecting as many as 55,000 to 110,000 hospital beds will be needed at that point.”

New York currently has just 53,000 hospital beds. New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority — the largest public transit system in the U.S. — asked the federal government for a $4 billion bailout as ridership plummeted. 

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