Sunday, 8 March 2020

New York Gov. Cuomo Declares ‘State Of Emergency’ Amid Growing Number Of Coronavirus Cases

On Saturday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency amid a growing number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state. The declaration will “help New York more quickly and effectively contain the spread of the virus,” according to a press release.
During a press conference, Cuomo updated the public on the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state, which as of Saturday stand at 76.
“We have 21 new cases that we found, so a total of 76 in the state of New York right now. We have 11 in New York City, 57 in Westchester County, two in Rockland County, four in Nassau County, and two in Saratoga County,” the governor said.
Of the seven new cases in New York City, two are individuals who “got off a cruise ship,” and “five appear to be community-spread.”
“One of those people is in a hospital in the Rockaway,” Cuomo continued.
Speaking about the 57 cases in Westchester County, the governor noted that it’s an “obvious problem” because “clusters tend to infect more and more people,” and so that area will require “special attention.”
Cuomo went on to speak of certain school quarantines that might need to be adjusted in light of new information. “There’s a possibility that those quarantine periods may be extended,” he stated.
The governor then addressed price gouging, the “practice of raising the price of goods, services, or commodities to an unreasonable or unfair level,” per Legal Dictionary.
“I want businesses to be aware that you could lose your license for price gouging. This is serious,” said Cuomo. “It’s not just price gouging, it’s price gouging in an emergency situation where you are being exploitive of the public.”
The governor added that cases of “fear-mongering with selling of masks on EBay and Facebook” are being investigated. He also suggested that EBay and Facebook patrol their own ground for potentially stolen products, specifically medical masks.
Cuomo also criticized the federal government’s aid to the state:
I don’t believe the supplemental appropriation bill provided enough funding for New York. New York [got in total] $35 million. We had already appropriated $40 million. We’re probably spending at the rate of about, rough estimate, $30 million per week right now – that’s without taking into consideration capital costs for purchasing of equipment, potential testing costs, reimbursement to local health organizations.
The CDC was not spared criticism either, with Cuomo calling the organization “a bottleneck for this nation in doing the [coronavirus] testing.”
“I believe the CDC was caught flat-footed, I believe they’re slow in their response, and I believe they’re slowing down the state,” Cuomo said.
The governor noted that the state of emergency “gives us certain powers,” including “purchasing and hiring more staff, especially to help local health departments that are very stressed.”
“We’ve said to the local health departments, you have to do the monitoring on the quarantine, mandatory quarantine,” Cuomo continued. “Somebody has to go knock on the door once a day at random intervals … to make sure the person is there. Even on the voluntary quarantine, we want electronic checking in.”
Likely in an effort to quell any panic regarding a seeming increase in cases as testing becomes more available, Cuomo said that more tests are better and that “the more positives you find the better because then you can isolate them and you slow the spread.”
Regarding those who contract coronavirus, the governor said that “80% of the people will walk around and self-resolve; 20% will be hospitalized. The vulnerable population – senior citizens, immune compromised, underlying illness.”

On Friday, President Trump signed an $8.3 billion emergency funding bill to aid in the fight against coronavirus.
The virus, which originated in China, has infected more than 100,000 people across the globe as of publication, and approximately 3,500 of those infected have died. According to NBC News, there have now been 402 confirmed cases in the United States, and 19 deaths.

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