Cuomo extends shutdown to May 15 even as state’s coronavirus toll drops sharply to 606
Governor Andrew Cuomo delivers his daily Press Briefing during COVID-19, Coronavirus pandemic.(Darren McGee/Darren McGee- Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)
Gov. Cuomo extended the state’s shutdown to May 15 as he reported 606 New Yorkers died from coronavirus Thursday, the first time the daily death toll has sharply declined since the crisis started.
The death rate dropped about 20% from the 752 toll reported in New York state a day earlier, a hopeful sign as the city and state seek to “bend the curve” of illness and death.
The numbers of newly critically ill and intubated patients also dropped significantly for the first time.
Still, Cuomo warned against thinking the picture is rosy. He cited daily figure of hospitalizations, which has dropped from sky high levels but is still disturbing.
“You still have 2,000 people walking into a hospital and being diagnosed with (COVID-19),” he said. “That’s still a lot of people.”
Cuomo extended the state’s rules on social distancing to May. 15, effectively shrugging off President Trump’s public musing about ordering the country back to work by May 1.
“We’re talking about human lives here,” he said.
Cuomo suggested he planned to coordinate the reopening effort with a regional group of northeastern states, an apparent snub of Trump, who has incorrectly claimed he has “absolute power" to decide for the states.
The White House says it has a conference call scheduled with governors today to discuss its own hopes for a May 1 reopening in some states.
The governor also seemed to scoff at Trump’s assertion that New York City is padding the coronavirus death toll by tabulating a separate category of probable COVID-19 deaths including thousands who have died at home from apparent coronavirus symptoms without being tested.
“Why would New York City want to inflate the death toll? It’s bad enough as it is,” he said. “It is more bizarre than usual (to say) that anyone would want to do that.”
He defended his newly imposed edict that New Yorkers should wear protective masks whenever they use public transportation or taxis.
“I’m sorry that people don’t like wearing masks,” he said. “It makes all the difference in the world.”