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Cuomo: NY Death Toll From Virus "Beyond Staggering"

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo with the USNS Comfort in the New York Harbor in the background.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo with the USNS Comfort in the New York Harbor in the background.

Two hundred thirty five New Yorkers died of the coronavirus in the past day, for a total of more than 1,200 so far, a number Governor Andrew Cuomo calls “beyond staggering.” Cuomo, in his daily update on the virus Monday, said hospitals and their workers are already overwhelmed, two weeks before the virus is expected to peak. He asked health care workers from around the nation to consider coming to New York to help. 

“We need relief. We need relief for nurses who are working 12-hour shifts,” Cuomo said. “So if you are not busy, come help us, please. And we will return the favor.”  

The governor met with the leaders of hospitals from around the state, and says he’s building a shared “stockpile” of personal protective equipment that hospitals can share according to their need. They are also working out a way to share staff and distribute health care personnel to the places they are needed the most.  

Cuomo answered President Trump’s accusation Sunday that masks and other protective equipment were mysteriously disappearing from New York hospitals. The president suggested someone might be stealing them out the back door, to sell on the black market. The president offered no evidence.  

“I don’t know what that means, I don’t what he’s trying to say,” said Cuomo. “If he wants to make an accusation, let him make an accusation. But I don’t know what he’s trying to say by inference.”  

Cuomo, asked if he is “afraid” to tangle with the president right now, said, no that he considers himself “a tangler,” but he says participating in a political fight right now would be “un-American.”  

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