Apr 8, 2020
Governor Andrew Cuomo NY COVID-19 Briefing Transcript April 8
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo held his daily briefing on coronavirus today, April 8. He announced “good news” and a continually flattening curve in the NY virus fight, but warned against complacency. Read the full transcript here.
Transcribe Your Own Content
Try Rev for free and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.
Andrew Cuomo: (00:02)
Good afternoon to everyone. These are stressful emotional times as we know and today is a day in the state of New York with very mixed emotions based on two very different pieces of information we have. I’m trying to work through the mixed emotions for myself so I’ll just present the facts and then we’ll go from there.
Andrew Cuomo: (00:37)
There is good news in what we’re seeing that what we have done and what we are doing is actually working and it’s making a difference. We took dramatic actions in this state. New York Pause program to close down schools, businesses, social distancing and it’s working. It is flattening the curve and we see that again today so far, meaning what? Meaning that curve is flattening because we are flattening the curve by what we are doing. If we stop what we are doing, you will see that curve change. That curve is purely a function of what we do day in and day out, but right now it’s flattening. The number of patients hospitalized is down and again we don’t look at just day to day data. You look at the three day trend, but that number is down. The three day average trend is also down. Anecdotally the individual hospitals, the larger systems are reporting that some of them are actually releasing more people than are coming in, so they’re net down. We see the “flattening of the curve.”
Andrew Cuomo: (02:06)
We have more capacity in the hospital system than ever before, so we’ve had more capacity in that system to absorb more people. The sharing of equipment, which has been really one of the beautiful cooperative, generous acts among different partners in the healthcare system has worked. If the hospitalization rate keeps decreasing the way it is now, then the system should stabilize over these next couple of weeks, which will minimize the need for overflow on the system that we have built in at Javits and at the USNS Comfort, so that is all good news.
Andrew Cuomo: (02:55)
There’s a big caution sign, that’s if we continue doing what we’re doing. If we continue doing what we’re doing, we are flattening the curve because we are rigorous about social distancing, etc. If we continue doing what we’re doing, then we believe the curve will continue to flat, but it’s not a time to get complacent. It’s not a time to do anything different than we have been doing.
Andrew Cuomo: (03:23)
Remember what happened in Italy when the entire healthcare system became overrun? We have to remain diligent. We have to remain disciplined going forward, but there’s no doubt that we are now bending the curve and there’s no doubt that we can’t stop doing what we’re doing. That’s the good news.
Andrew Cuomo: (03:42)
The bad news isn’t just bad. The bad news is actually terrible. Highest single day death toll yet, 779 people. When you look at the numbers on the death toll, it has been going steadily up and it reached a new height yesterday. The number of deaths, as a matter of fact, the number of deaths will continue to rise as those hospitalized for a longer period of time pass away. The longer you are on a ventilator, the less likely you will come off the ventilator. Dr. Fowchee spoke to me about this and he was 100% right.
Andrew Cuomo: (04:35)
The “lagging indicator” between hospitalizations and deaths, the hospitalizations can start to drop, the deaths actually increase because the people who have been in the hospital for 11 days, 14 days, 17 days pass away. That’s what we’re seeing. Hospitalizations drop and the death toll rises. I understand the science of it, I understand the facts and the logic of it, but it is still incredibly difficult to deal with. Every number is a face, right? And that’s been painfully obvious to me every day.
Andrew Cuomo: (05:24)
But we have lost people, many of them frontline workers, many of them healthcare workers, many of them people who were doing the essential functions that we all needed for society to go on, and they were putting themselves at risk and they knew they were. Many of them vulnerable people who this vicious predator of a virus targeted from day one. This virus attacked the vulnerable and attacked the weak, and it’s our job as a society to protect those vulnerable and that’s what this is always been about from day one and it still is about.
Andrew Cuomo: (06:19)
Be responsible, not just for yourself, but to protect the vulnerable. Be responsible because the life you risk may not be your own. Those people who walk into an emergency room every day and put themselves at peril, don’t make their situation worse. Don’t infect yourself or infect someone else so their situation becomes more dangerous.
Andrew Cuomo: (06:49)
Just to put a perspective on this, 911, which so many of us lived through in this state and in this nation. 2,753 lives lost. This crisis, we’ve lost 6,268 New Yorkers. I’m going to direct all flags to be flown at half mast in honor of those who we have lost to this virus.
Andrew Cuomo: (07:18)
Big question from everyone, from my daughters, I’m sure around most people’s dinner table. When will things go back to the way they were? I don’t think it’s about going back. I don’t think it’s ever about going back. I think the question is always about going forward and that’s what we have to deal with here. It’s about learning from what we’ve experienced and it’s about growing and it’s about moving forward.
Andrew Cuomo: (07:47)
Well, when will we return to normal? I don’t think we returned to normal. I don’t think we return to yesterday where we were. I think if we’re smart, we achieve a new normal, the way we are understanding a new normal when it comes to the economy and the new normal when it comes to the environment. Now, we understand the new normal in terms of health and public health. We have to learn just the way we’ve been learning about the new normal and other aspects of society. We have to learn what it means, global pandemic, how small the world has actually gotten. Someone sneezes in Asia today, you catch a cold tomorrow. Whatever happens in any country on this globe can get on an airplane and be here literally overnight and understanding this phenomenon and having a new appreciation for it, how our public health system has to be prepared and the scale to which we need a public health system. Look at the way we’re scrambling right now to make this work. We have to learn from that.
Andrew Cuomo: (09:07)
I think we’ve also learned positive lessons. We’ve found ways to use technology that we never explored before. You have a New York state court system that, thank you chief judges, basically developing a virtual online court system, which has all sorts of positive benefits going forward using technology for healthcare, using technology work from home, using technology for education. I think these are all positives that we can learn.
Andrew Cuomo: (09:36)
Testing capacity, which we still have to develop. That is going to be the bridge from where we are today to the new economy in my opinion. It’s going to be a testing informed transition to the new economy where people who have the antibodies, people who are negative, people who have been exposed and now are better, those are the people who can go to work and you know who they are because you can do testing, but that we’ve all developed a sense of scale over the past few weeks in dealing with this.
Andrew Cuomo: (10:17)
There’s also lessons to be learned. Why are more African Americans and Latinos affected? We’re seeing this around the country. Now, the numbers in New York are not as bad as the disparities we see in other places across the country, but there still are apparently disparities. Why? Well co-morbidity, I understand that, but I think there’s something more to it.
Andrew Cuomo: (10:46)
It always seems that the poorest people pay the highest price. Why is that? Why is that? Whatever the situation is, there’s natural disaster, Hurricane Katrina. The people standing on those rooftops, we’re not rich white people. Why? Why is it that the poorest people always pay the highest price? But let’s figure it out. Let’s do the work. Let’s do the research. Let’s learn from this moment and let’s learn these lessons and let’s do it now.
Andrew Cuomo: (11:27)
We’re going to do more testing in minority communities, but not just testing for the virus. Let’s actually get research and data that can inform us as to why are we having more people in minority communities, more people in certain neighborhoods. Why do they have higher rates of infection? I get the comorbidity, I get the underlying illness issue, but what else is at play? Are more public workers Latino and African American?
Andrew Cuomo: (12:03)
… Latino and African American who don’t have a choice, frankly, but to go out there every day and drive the bus and drive the train and show up for work and wind up subjecting themselves to, in this case, the virus. Whereas many other people who had the option just absented themselves. They live in more dense communities, more urban environments, but what is it? And let’s learn from that and let’s do it now. I’m going to ask our SUNY Albany chief, Dr. Jabidan Rodriguez that had an effort to do it right now, we’ll do more testing in minority communities now, with more data research done now. So let’s learn now. Department of Health will be doing it along with Northwell, but let’s learn these lessons now. We’re also going to make an additional $600 payment to all unemployed new Yorkers. The federal government says they will reimburse us for it, but people need money now in their pocket.
Andrew Cuomo: (13:20)
So New York will be doing that immediately. We’re also extending the period covered by unemployment benefits for an additional 13 weeks, goes from 26 weeks to 39 weeks, so that should be a relief. On voting, I’ve seen lines of people on television voting in other states. This is totally nonsensical. God bless them for having such diligence for their civic duty that they would go stand on a line to vote, but people shouldn’t have to make that choice, and where by executive order all new Yorkers can vote absentee on June 23rd, primary’s coming up. I want to say thank you to the many places and people who are working with the state of New York. Mercury Medical donated 2,400 BiPAP machines. BiPAP machines are technically not ventilators, but they can be modified to effectively ventilate even though they’re not ventilators, and we’re using them. They were brought up from Florida. Thank you very much Jet Blue for doing that.
Andrew Cuomo: (14:36)
I also want to thank Oregon and Washington state and California for freeing up ventilators. I want to thank the direct care workers who are doing a fantastic job and they’re doing it every day. I want to thank the state workers who are showing up and doing a great job every day, every first responder. This has been a long battle and it’s going to go on, but I want them to know how thankful we all are of them for what they’re doing. I want people to remember that we’re flattening that curve, and if anything, we double down now on our diligence. We’re going to start a social media campaign. Who were you staying home for? Right? It’s not about staying home for yourself. Stay home for others. Stay home for the vulnerable people who, if they get this virus, are in a really bad place in life.
Andrew Cuomo: (15:42)
Stay home for the healthcare worker who’s in the emergency room, because you don’t want to infect anybody else who then puts another greater load on our healthcare system. So who are you staying home for? I’m staying home for my mother, but everyone … It’s not about just you, it’s about all of us. So who are you staying home for? And we’ll start a social media campaign that does that. But thank you to all the New Yorkers for all they’ve done. And we still have more to do. We are by no means out of the woods, and do not misread what you’re seeing in that data and on those charts. That is a pure product of our actions and behavior. If we behave differently, you will see those numbers change. I just doubled the fine on a disobeying the social distancing rules. Why? Because if anything we have to get more diligent, not less diligent, and we have more to do. And that’s New York tough, but tough is more than just tough. Tough is smart and disciplined and unified, and tough is loving. The toughest guys are tough enough to love, right?
Andrew Cuomo: (17:09)
Last point, our brothers and sisters in the Jewish community celebrate Passover tonight. We wish them all a happy Passover. The Jewish community has had a long and difficult year, besides any of this. The number of incidents of antisemitism across this country, the violence that they have seen, even in this state of New York that has such a large Jewish population. So we wish them all well on Passover, and the message of Passover I know helps me today and I offer it to others to consider. Passover says, “We remember the past, we learn from the past, we remember the lessons of the past, we teach a new generation, those lessons.” But there’s also a message of hope in Passover. Next year in Jerusalem, next year in Jerusalem. Next year, the promised land, next year will be better. And yes, this has been a difficult month. We’ll learn a lot, we’ll move forward, and we’ll be better for it. Questions?
Speaker 2: (18:22)
In New York City, 75% of frontline workers are black and Latino. We’re talking about grocery store clerks, people who work in public transit, childcare. Is it time to scale back some of these grocery stores that are open or some of these businesses that are still open at this point to try to bridge that gap?
Andrew Cuomo: (18:43)
Yeah. Question is many of the essential workers, public workforce tends to be African American and Latino. I think that’s probably right. I don’t know the statistics, but I think that’s probably right. I also believe the frontline workers do have a greater exposure than most people. I think that’s one of the things we’ll find when we do this research on why is the infection rate higher with the African American community and the Latino community. Again, the disparity that we’re seeing in New York is nothing like what you see in other places across the country, but I think it is something that we have to understand.
Andrew Cuomo: (19:27)
I don’t think we can reduce the essential services. We’re down to basically food, pharmacy, basic transportation, which, frankly, is more for our essential workers to get where they’re going. If you didn’t have public transportation, you couldn’t have those healthcare workers showing up, you couldn’t have the grocery workers showing up. So I don’t think we’re in a position to say eat less or use less drugs or use less healthcare. I think we have to get through this now and then learn from it and see what what changes we can make in the future.
The state was very … [crosstalk 00:20:13]. Do you think the state was slow?
Andrew Cuomo: (20:11)
Excuse me one second, Karen, just Bernadette’s.
Sorry, was the state slow to shut everything down? Did New York pause come too late? Do you guys wish that you had started reducing the workforce, shutting down businesses, et cetera, sooner, especially considering San Francisco had shut down prior to New York? Do you think that New York was late to act?
Andrew Cuomo: (20:32)
No. No. I think New York was early and I think the actions we took were more dramatic than most, and, frankly, were criticized as being premature. So no, I think if you could rewind the tape, you’d have to go back to last November. What was going around … What was happening around the world and what was the effect going to be here? My point about global pandemics, we’re watching China, we’re watching Italy, we’re watching other countries extrapolate from that on a national basis. What was the first part of your question, Bernadette?
Just wondering if you think … Should you shut down the schools? There was a conflict between the city schools, de Blasio and you were having that debate over, should we shut them down? Also bars and restaurants. Should any of those actions come further, instead of the incremental?
Andrew Cuomo: (21:39)
There wasn’t a debate. There wasn’t a debate. I made the decision to close down the city schools. There was … I didn’t have a debate. There was a debate about closing city schools and people thought I closed the city schools prematurely. That was the ongoing debate. But no, I think, look, if anything in retrospect it shows what we did is right. I’m sorry, Karen?
I’m sorry. On the June 23rd voting, do you envision polling places being open, as you know many of the coworkers are older workers, or would everybody be voting by mail with that?
Andrew Cuomo: (22:12)
I think we’re just saying absentee voting is an option. We don’t say it’s a necessity, right?
Speaker 3: (22:19)
We’re saying absentee voting is an option. We’re saying the temporary illness provision of the absentee voting will include the risk of contracting COVID-19 and I think we’re going to take a wait and see approach as we get closer on whether or not any poll should be open.
Speaker 4: (22:32)
Peconic Landing is releasing COVID data to the public, but many other nursing homes aren’t. Should all facilities do. So
Andrew Cuomo: (22:38)
Do you understand that question? Napoleonic Landing?
Speaker 4: (22:43)
Peconic Landing and the community on Long Island that’s seeing the high number, that’s been seeing the high numbers-
Andrew Cuomo: (22:49)
Peconic Landing is a nursing home that has been releasing data. Should other nursing homes be releasing data is the question?
Speaker 4: (22:56)
Should all nursing homes.
Andrew Cuomo: (22:57)
Should all nursing homes or any nursing homes?
Speaker 5: (22:59)
So we are tracking the nursing homes and we wanted to protect the privacy of the individuals in the nursing homes and we do defer that back to the homes themselves. So that particular place has released data, but we do track it.
Speaker 4: (23:15)
Are there any other known outbreaks or known clusters at nursing homes?
Speaker 5: (23:17)
Well we have seen in multiple nursing homes across the state, particularly in the lower downstate, I should say, cases and we do track them. Some of them are as a result of one person who was there and others who have gotten infected. So we are looking at that closely
Is there any way for the public to know about that? Can’t the state release the list of nursing homes with a high number of COVID patients like other states and countries have?
Speaker 5: (23:43)
Again, it goes back to the fact that the nursing home is in many ways where they live. It’s not like where you go into the hospital and then you can leave the hospital. So we try to protect their privacy a little bit more, but we do keep … We do track, and if there’s a case there or if there’s a a concern there, we go and investigate it immediately.
Andrew Cuomo: (24:00)
Governor, [inaudible 00:24:01] said that it would be shut down until June 7th-
Andrew Cuomo: (24:03)
Governor, Broadway said that it would be shut down until June 7th this morning. Is that going to be a good rule of thumb for other sorts of mass gatherings in New York City or statewide?
Andrew Cuomo: (24:11)
No. I wouldn’t use what they think.
You anticipate mass gatherings beginning before June?
Andrew Cuomo: (24:18)
I don’t know. I don’t know. But I wouldn’t use what Broadway thinks as a barometer of anything unless they’re in the public health business and they have seen better numbers and models. Look, all of these projections basically turned out to be wrong. Right? And this is a very hard thing to model because, besides all the variables, you’re modeling public behavior and what people will do. If you go back and you look at even models that were put out in January, they all had a premise about how effective social distancing would be, what percent of the population would actually comply with social distancing, etc.
Andrew Cuomo: (25:13)
And they have turned out to be wrong. But I think, Jesse, they can be wrong either way. I’m more worried about people saying, “Oh, well, the number of cases is coming down, it’s now safer.” It’s not. It’s not. I’m more afraid of the number changing and the curve changing, because people read something into it that’s not there. If you reduce that compliance on social distancing, you’ll see those numbers go up within days. Literally go up within days. So no, I take it one day at a time, look at the data for the day, look at the numbers for the day, and then make a decision. Well, two weeks they’re… Look, we only went to April 29th with the school closing. We extended everything until April 29 on the school closing New York pause. Even that’s a projection. I wouldn’t go past that.
What about other areas of the state? We obviously see concentrations on Long Island, Stephen, downstate in Hudson Valley, but there are other places where you haven’t seen new cases. Do you foresee opening schools, opening up [crosstalk 00:26:27]
Andrew Cuomo: (26:26)
You haven’t seen these cases yet, Jimmy, and be careful of tense and be careful of counting our chickens before they hatch. We haven’t seen cases yet. We are in the midst of this. Don’t start doing a retrospective like it’s over, because that’s the attitude we have to avoid. You will see more cases in Upstate New York. I’ll bet you whatever you want to bet right now. You will see more cases on Long Island. I’ll bet you whatever you want to bet right now. So we’re not through it. It’s not over. We are in the midst of it. We have some good news in that what we’re doing is working, and by the way, we’ve all been killing ourselves one way or the other. Isolation. The work of the healthcare system has been phenomenal. People working 24 hours a day. People exposing themselves. The good news is, that’s showing a benefit and flatten the curve at a lower rate than almost any of the models that were projected. Okay? That’s the good news.
Andrew Cuomo: (27:37)
But we are still in the midst of it. And the bad news, the terrible news is look at how many lives we lost. I mean, it is breathtaking. So the next time we want to think about we’re getting a little complacent or cavalier, look at the number of people we’ve lost. Remember that before you decide to go out of the house because you have cabin fever.
But what metric would you be looking, at Dr. Zucker, or any of you, to make that sort of decision? What would be the tipping point, so to speak-
Andrew Cuomo: (28:11)
Look at the infection rates, Jesse. That number has to come down on the other side of the mountain. The number of infection, new cases going into a hospital, the infection rate has to come down to a point where you believe the isolation of the vulnerable, the other measures we’re taking, is enough to start to reopen. And then how do you reopen? It’s not just going to be about Broadway theaters. Before you go to Broadway theaters, people are going to say, “When can I go back to work? When can I go back to school? When are the other essential services going to open?” Before they go to a play, there’s going to be a lot of other questions that they’re going to ask, and that’s going to be a function of numbers. Frankly, I would like to do that on a regional basis with Connecticut and New Jersey because this is a regional workforce. So I stay very close to Governor Murphy and Governor Lamont on those decisions.
Andrew Cuomo: (29:08)
I don’t believe in these geographic distinctions in these situations. There is no New York City. There is New York City, there’s Nassau, there’s Suffolk, there’s Westchester, there’s Rockland. The virus doesn’t stop at a border. And these decisions are regional in nature. Now, Broadway obviously is a microcosm, but the overall decisions are all in a regional context, and I think it’s going to be the numbers and when are the numbers low enough that it is safe?
But that number necessarily wouldn’t need to be zero, is what you’re saying? It could just be low enough that-
Andrew Cuomo: (29:51)
Yes. Yes. I don’t need us to be zero. Look, it may never be zero. It may never be zero. And you have to watch this. When will we go back to normal? You think there’s ever going to be a morning that I wake up again in my life not worried about this in the back of my mind? You don’t think we’re all going to worry about now, is there a second wave? You don’t think we’re all going to worry about now when somebody sneezes in Asia, how long until that cold comes here? No. Zero, I don’t know that we ever get back to zero. Doctor, you want to mention something?
Dr. Zucker: (30:39)
I concur 100%.
What about hospital capacity? Are we-
Andrew Cuomo: (30:44)
[inaudible 00:30:44] Go ahead.
Speaker 7: (30:45)
Governor, we’re hearing that hospitals in Queens, that they don’t have the blood gas machines or cartridges which are critical for operating them. Also, if hospitals do have ventilators, do they have enough operational technicians to operate them?
Andrew Cuomo: (31:00)
Do they have enough operational technicians? They must, because somehow they’ve been working. I don’t know what the exact operating technician is for a ventilator, but I have not heard that. I’ve talked to all the hospitals every day for the past couple of days to find out what’s going on, what they need, and the heads of the large hospital systems. Nobody’s mentioned that to me. We have over 100 hospitals on the phone. What was the first part of your question?
Speaker 7: (31:29)
[inaudible 00:31:29] Blood gas machines or cartridges-
Andrew Cuomo: (31:30)
Blood gas machine cartridges.
Speaker 7: (31:32)
Andrew Cuomo: (31:33)
Dr. Zucker is an expert on blood gas machine cartridges. He gave me some for my birthday last year, actually. He said, “Just in case.” I didn’t know what he meant at the time. Now I know. And he’s going to give me a ventilator this birthday, so I’m going to put it all together. Go head, do you want to address the blood gas [crosstalk 00:31:55].
Dr. Zucker: (31:54)
So, those are part of the supplies to run the point of care testing, which is the lab test that we do at the bedside. And if there is a decrease in supplies, we are looking into all of them to get them to the hospitals that are needed.
Andrew Cuomo: (31:58)
I knew that answer, by the way. I knew what a blood gas cartridge was. I just wanted the doctor to be able to answer.
You had projected 110,000 beds. It sounds like if we’re nearing the apex, or at the plateau, whatever, what number do we have? What do we need, these temporary facilities? What are the updates on those numbers?
Andrew Cuomo: (32:33)
[crosstalk 00:32:33] You’re right. That’s my whole point. We’re flattening the curve now below projected peaks because of our behavior. But again, Jimmy, you want to talk about this in the retrospective. There is no retrospective. You’re in the middle of it. If you walk in front of traffic on the way home, yes, you are young, you may have a different life expectancy based on your action. We are in the middle of it. I’m not going to say to any… Right now you’ve seen a little flattening. That’s all you’ve seen. You’ve seen four or five days of flattening. “Oh, it’s flat.” No, you have four or five days of flattening. You could have tomorrow morning we wake up and the number is back up. So I’m not willing to say because it’s not true, that any of this is over or anything has been accomplished, because this is just a small snapshot in time, where we are. At this rate, we are below projected numbers.
What is the new peak projection? What is the number of beds we have now? And what is the number of patients in those beds?
Andrew Cuomo: (33:58)
There is no new peak projection. There is no new peak projection. Listen to what I’m saying. Nobody is saying we peaked. We have flattened the curve for this period of time. If you continue doing what you’re doing, might one think the flattening would continue? One might think that. But nobody knows. Nobody knows.
Speaker 6: (34:29)
Are you worried about under counting, in terms of people that may have died at home and not been diagnosed with COVID-19?
Andrew Cuomo: (34:34)
That’s a very real possibility.
Speaker 6: (34:35)
And have you given any thought or has anyone [crosstalk 00:00:34:37].
Andrew Cuomo: (34:38)
We’re looking at other models of counting. But no. I have no idea. The question is, if people died at home, might you not have those numbers because they would only come from basically a funeral home? We’re looking at other models because right now most of the data we have comes from hospitals and major institutions, nursing homes. So there could be a deviation, no doubt about that.
Speaker 6: (35:07)
Also impact the hospitalization rate? And couldn’t that skew the measurements that you guys have been doing on hospitalizations, if there have been that many at-home deaths that have not been tallied and those people have not been tested?
Andrew Cuomo: (35:18)
No. Nobody said there have been that many at-home deaths. [inaudible 00:35:21] Well, people have said there may be people who have died at home who have not been counted. That is a possibility, right. That would never affect the hospitalization rate, because the hospitalization rate is the number of people who walk into the hospital. Right? That is different than the number of people who have passed away.
Speaker 6: (35:43)
Right. But if were dealing with this illness at home and perhaps they had symptoms that would have been treatable or it would have caused them to go to the hospital. So, it’s confusing because if people are in the hospitals, but if someone’s at home because they can’t go to the hospital-
Andrew Cuomo: (36:01)
Well, you’re right. [crosstalk 00:36:02] If someone never went to the ho-
Speaker 9: (36:03)
… go to the hospital. How do you equate?
Andrew Cuomo: (36:03)
Well, you’re right. If someone never went to the hospital and just stayed at home and passed away at home, they would never show up in the hospitalization rate. They would show up in the number of deaths. Jesse’s point, there might be a lag in the number of deaths, because we haven’t fully aggregated all the data from all of the different sources. That’s possible. I don’t know how it’s going to be meaningful statistically, but it’s possible.
Speaker 9: (36:35)
One more, are you moving ahead with the temporary hospitals?
Andrew Cuomo: (36:35)
Can I just, I’m sorry, go ahead.
Thank you, Governor. Governor, there is an emergency room physician in New York City, and I’m sure Dr. Zucker would want to comment on this too, who says he’s seen a very high percentage of patients, maybe 70% die who were put on ventilators. He’s thinking the approach is all wrong. We need to rethink the protocol that these patients might not need the ventilators. They might need oxygen instead.
Dr. Zucker: (37:05)
So I think, I can’t comment on exactly what they’re saying, but the fact is when someone shows up in the emergency room, there’s a handful of things that are going to take place. One is, the oxygen is an initial therapy that someone needs, but the fact is that if someone’s respiratory status gets worse, they’re going to need respiratory support. The real question may be, is there other interventions that one can do? And we are looking at what other possible therapies would be out there that could possibly be given earlier, and that’s all experimental.
Is it possible the ventilators might be doing more harm than good?
Dr. Zucker: (37:38)
So the issue with ventilators, in general, is that if someone goes on a ventilator, and the governor has spoken about this before, about how long people stay on the ventilator, the longer you stay on the ventilator, you end up potentially causing damage to the lung. It’s a pressure that’s being pushed into your lungs, and you’re constantly putting pressure into those little air sacs in the lungs. It can damage them, and the high levels of oxygen also can damage your lungs. But the fact is, it’s what’s called a catch 22 in a lot of ways, which is where you need the ventilator, but if you’re on it a long time, it can cause harm. That’s why you try to get them off as fast as possible.
Is this why it appears Boris Johnson is been treated with oxygen, rather than a ventilator?
Dr. Zucker: (38:17)
In Great Britain.
Speaker 9: (38:20)
I can’t comment on his case, obviously, because I don’t know the information. But when someone comes in, the initial thing to do is to give someone oxygen by mask, and if someone gets worse, then you end up intubating them. What’s happening with these patients is that they get worse relatively quickly. And so there’s a lot of interventions that have to happen relatively quickly as well. [crosstalk 00:02:43].
Andrew Cuomo: (38:42)
I’m not a medical doctor, obviously, but look, nobody wants to put people on the ventilator. I’ve discerned that much, and I think you’re right, the percentage of people who go on the ventilator who never come off the ventilator is incredibly high. I’ve even heard closer to 80%. I don’t think the ventilator is doing that. I think that’s why they’re on the ventilator. They’re doing the ventilator as basically a last resort. So when they put you on the ventilator, it’s because everything else has failed, and that’s why the mortality rate is so high on the ventilator. And that’s what we’re seeing here. That death rate is going up, because it’s the people who’ve been on a ventilator seven days, 10 days, 15 days, and they’re passing away. So when we had that big increase in hospitalizations about 10 days ago, two weeks ago, that big spike in hospitalizations, what we’re seeing is the people who went into the hospital on that day, 10 days ago, 12 days ago, who didn’t get better, who was put on a ventilator, is now passing away. And that’s what’s driving this death toll.
Andrew Cuomo: (40:04)
And look, that number, what’s even making it more depressing and distressing, that death toll probably will be this high, or near this high, or even higher for the next several days, because it’s the coefficient of the high hospitalization rate from two weeks ago or so. So, when you get up tomorrow morning, the news could be just as bleak, and that’s why I’ll end where I started, mixed emotions. We are flattening the curve, thank God, thank God, thank God, and thank a lot of good people who have been working very hard. That is a moment in time. Don’t get complacent. It’s what we’re doing that’s working, keep doing it. That’s the good news, and that good news has a big caveat. We’re still in the midst of it. Don’t get complacent. You start acting different, you’ll see that number change in 27 minutes. That’s the good news.
Andrew Cuomo: (41:14)
The bad news is we have had a record number of deaths. I mean, I went through 9/11, I thought in my lifetime I wouldn’t have to see anything like that again, nothing that bad, nothing that tragic. I remember the number of funerals after 9/11. I remember the grief after 9/11 that this should literally eclipse that in terms of numbers of dead in this state, it’s almost unimaginable to me. Then how do you square those two things? We’re making progress. We lost more people than ever before on a single day. Okay, I’m going to work. Thank you, guys.
Speaker 9: (42:02)
[crosstalk 00:42:02]. Are you still building temporary hospitals outside of Javits for temporary processing?
Andrew Cuomo: (42:07)
We are not building more. We’re still maintaining them. We are still in the midst. Don’t get over confident. Don’t get complacent. We’re still in the midst of this. [crosstalk 00:42:19]. This can still turn any way from Sunday.
Governor, have you spoken to Gavin Newsom in California about a possible consortium to buy medical supplies?
Andrew Cuomo: (42:29)
I have not talked to him about a possible consortium, but it’s one of the things the National Governor’s Association is talking about, because what we just went through where states are competing with other states, this made absolutely no sense for anyone.
Should there still be a [crosstalk 00:42:48]?
Andrew Cuomo: (42:48)
So a statewide consortium would be a positive alternative, or a federal government that did all of the purchasing instead, Jesse, and then just gave it to the states that needed them.
You mean, a multi-state consortium, right?
Andrew Cuomo: (43:03)
Federal government can purchase, right? When I was in the federal government, FEMA effectively was the shipping clerk. They did the purchasing. They disseminated to the states. That’s the simplest system. Federal government on a federal disaster, which means multiple states, that’s a federal disaster, they are the purchasing entity, they are the master strategist for the operation. That’s option A. If the federal government is not going to do it, option B, let the states as a consortium be a purchasing consortium. That’s what the National Governors Association conversation is, because what happened here, where I placed a bid, Chicago places another bid, California places another bid, that’s just madness. Talk to you later, thank you.
Have you spoken to the president’s advisor on the 23rd?