ALBANY – Governor Andrew Cuomo today said he has not discussed a regional quarantine with the president, and announced the New York presidential primary vote will be postponed to June 23.
President Trump this morning reportedly proposed an “enforceable travel ban” for the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, telling reporters he may announce it later today.
In his daily press briefing, Cuomo said “I don't like the sound of it,” and said it is not anything he discussed with the president in their phone call just minutes before the press conference began.
He said the president has approved the construction of four more emergency hospitals in locations around the New York metro area, and was told the hospital ship USN Comfort should arrive in new York Monday. The vessel will add another 1000 beds and 1,200 medical professionals to the state's efforts to ramp up bed, staff and ventilator supplies before the coronavirus apex, which is projected in the next 14 to 21 days.
Cuomo said he is ordering public and private hospitals to plan allocating resources and available beds more regionally, something he said they do not currently do, and said the former Benedictine Hospital in Kingston, now run by Health Alliance of the Hudson Valle, is now one of the hospitals identified as an available overflow emergency facility, along with more facilities downstate.
The number of confirmed cases in New York continues to rise, as do the number of dead, but Cuomo indicated that there is a one day drop in the rate of increase that could be a good sign. However, he advised caution.
“I wouldn't put too much stock in any one day number.”
The number of ventilators he said the state needs to prepare for the worst of the crisis is now estimated at 30,000, a reduction from the original estimate he said reflected ventilators the state now has.
Cuomo said that the state tax filing deadline is now delayed to July 15 and pointed out that compounds the state's current financial strain. He called for the creation of a nationwide buying consortium, either created by the federal government or, if necessary, but the states themselves, to eliminate what is currently a bidding war for needed medical supplies. He also called for “faster and better tests” for the virus.
Cuomo was asked about reports that police in Rhode Island are stopping cars with New York plates to send them home, and he said his office would make a call.
“Take everything you hear with a grain of salt,” he said. “Two grains.”
Cuomo said New York has never called for a regional quarantine, even when the area around the initial New Rochelle hot spot was quarantined.
“We never established a geographical boundary,” he said. “It's unworkable. I don’t know how that could be legally enforceable.”