Gov. Andrew Cuomo warns coronavirus outbreak is not just a ‘New York problem’

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Wednesday warned that the outbreak of the novel coronavirus would soon present a serious national problem beyond his state’s borders.

Citing a projection from the Gates Foundation-funded IHME model, Cuomo said at a news conference that as many as 93,000 Americans could die from the virus, including 16,000 New York residents.

“That would mean that New York is only 16 percent, roughly, of the number of deaths,” Cuomo said of his state, which has reported the most deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. As of Wednesday, New York’s death toll from the virus was at 1,941 deaths, nearly half of the country’s total.

The projections suggest that other states will soon face many of the challenges New York has dealt with over the past couple weeks, Cuomo said.

According to the Gates Foundation-funded IHME model, 16,000 New Yorkers are expected to die from coronavirus.

Gov. Cuomo: “That would mean that NY is only 16% roughly of the number of deaths … What that does say to the rest of the nation is – this is not just New York.”— MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 1, 2020

“What that does say to the rest of the nation is, this is not just New York,” he stated. “If you believe these numbers, 16,000 deaths in New York, that means you’re going to have tens of thousands of deaths outside of New York.”

The comments from Cuomo arrived just a day after top U.S. health officials warned that between 100,000 and 240,000 people in the U.S. could die from the novel coronavirus even if social-distancing requirements remain in place. Speaking at a White House briefing, President Trump said the public should be prepared for a “very, very painful” couple weeks. 

The New York tri-state area has become the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, with more than 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases. New York state’s total alone sits at more than 83,700.

But Cuomo stressed that New York’s problem today would be other states’ problem tomorrow. 

“[The projections say] it’s a New York problem today. Tomorrow, it’s a Kansas problem and a Texas problem and a New Mexico problem. That’s why I say to my fellow governors and elected officials all across this country, ‘Look at us today, see yourself tomorrow.’ ” 

Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, two of the faces of the White House coronavirus task force, have warned that the outbreak is showing signs of worsening in the Detroit and New Orleans metropolitan areas. 

Birx said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet The Press” that every governor and mayor should prepare as if they were New York, saying that “no state, no metro area will be spared.”

“The sooner we react and the sooner the states and the metro areas react and ensure that they put in full mitigation, at the same time understanding exactly what their hospitals need, then we’ll be able to move forward together and protect the most Americans,” she said.  

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