ALBANY -- In his daily press conference, Andrew Cuomo revealed that his brother, CNN newsman Chris Cuomo, has been confirmed with the COVID-19 virus.
“He'll be fine. He's quarantined in his basement. He's worried about his wife and family.”
Cuomo said his brother's situation reinforces the need for everyone to take social responsibility to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Stay home,” he said. “There's nothing I've said in these daily briefings that is different. We know what to do. You just need to do it.”
Cuomo said the rate of the virus spread continues to rise, as does the death toll. He said five different projection models say five different things, with the apex of the virus predicted in 14 to 21 days.
He said he is talking with all the health care systems and hospitals in the state, and they will have to work together. He announced a central coordination team that will be led by the state Department of Health. Cuomo also said upstate hospitals are being asked, on a voluntary basis, to send extra staff downstate as needed. Coordination not only among hospitals within the state, but with Washington, is an area of concern as the state plans for the worst of the pandemic.
“We need the federal government to be part of this planning, too, if they intend to be involved.”
The governor said FEMA has also contributed to the skyrocketing cost of ventilators.
“All 50 states are bidding for ventilators in China, and then FEMA came in and essentially big-footed it. It's like being on eBay with 49 other states, then watching FEMA come in and start bidding up the price. What sense does that make? It all comes down to federal distribution of supplies.”
Cuomo also acknowledged that the state is being swamped with applications for unemployment, and the site has repeatedly crashed. He said a number of firms are trying to handle the problem.
Division of Budget Director Robert Mujica said the state averages about 50,000 such calls in a normal week. In the past week, 7 million people applied.