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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  March 25, 2020 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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hello, everyone. i'm john king in washington. today, the impact from the coronavirus pandemic becoming more dramatic by the day if not the hour. about half of the u.s. population under stay-at-home orders. there are more than 53,000 cases in the united states confirmed and more than 700 americans have died of coronavirus. new york city continues to be the u.s. epicenter of the outbreak with known cases doubling every three days. doubling every three days. the situation so severe, the white house is advising people who visit or pass through new york city to self-quarantine themselves for 14 days. we're waiting to hear from the new york governor andrew cuomo. we'll take you there live when he begins. meanwhile, president trump pushing the country to get up and running by easter. but top medical experts are warning it is much, much too soon for that. meantime, the senate could pass a historic $2 trillion stimulus package as early as today. that after senate leaders in the white house reached that giant deal overnight. the deal which is being touted as the biggest spending package
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in u.s. history will deliver checked to americans and send cash to hospitals and small businesses. let's start at the epicenter with brynn gingras live in new york city. new york city is now ground zero if you will in this war against the coronavirus. what's the latest? >> yeah, john, you know, listen, a friend got in touch with me and basically said they keep hearing all these numbers. the numbers are going up, of course, but those are hard to register. what really sets in for people, she thought at least, was the pictures. i want to show you what we're seeing at this hospital. we have been here for the last three days. this line gets exponentially longer every single day. we have been here in the early mornings. people start lining up before 6:00, even sometimes before that. i mean, let's keep in mind, these are people, every single one of them is wearing a mask, so more than likely, every single one of them thinks they might have coronavirus or else why else would they be in the line? they don't feel well. they're sick, standing hours in
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line in this outside this hospital just to get in to try to get some care. that really gives you a perspective of how dire really the situation is here. now, if we go back to the numbers. that's the big thing, right? the governor, the mayor, here of new york city, asking for more ventilators, asking for more personal protection equipment for the front lines. those health care workers inside taking care of all of these patients. the need is there. you can see it right here on the ground. of course, yesterday, we saw the governor be so fiery in that news conference saying we need more ventilators. we're going to need 30,000 when the hospitals actually reach the top of the peak, which he thinks is another two to three weeks from now. and sure, the president fired back and said hey, we're giving you ventilators. it's up to you to get the rest, but the point is, we need more. and this is the situation we're seeing here in new york u and it is going to be copied and pasted in other cities across the country. we're seeing already, you know, more surges in hospitals, in new orleans. we're seeing more cases in new
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jersey, in connecticut. i mean, again, it's just being repeated all across this country, but i can tell you, we have been standing here just before the live shot and we saw four ambulances rush right into that hospital. of course, i don't know if that's a coronavirus patient in the back of that ambulance, but the point is the optics here, it's jarring. >> optics jarring. a great way to put it. we focus a lot on the risks being taken by frontline health care workers, which they should. they're putting their lives in danger to help the patients but you have new numbers about the number of new york city police officers who now have this virus. >> yeah, absolutely. more than 200 have the virus. of those nypd members, 6.6% of the people, the force, is calling out sick. that's more than double what they usually see. those are the numbers. i just had a conversation with a police officer not too long ago who said his partner is being transferred to a different presipg because the need is there. they're having to be shifted around. we also saw a van go around basically telling the community to social distance. i mean, these are all the people
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that we're asking social distance for, the people on the front lines, not just in the hospitals but of course police officers, firefighters, ems. >> adjustments in the sad new normal. appreciate the reporting. despite warnings from health experts saying it's way too soon to talk about easing social distancing requirements, president trump remains fixated on this idea. he wants the country back to normal by easter, saying it would be, quote, beautiful. cnn's john harwood covering that for us. what are we hearing today? you can tell the public health persons are trying to push the president back some. is he bepding? >> i think he is bending some. president trump would like for the country to be reopened for business by easter, but as he plays at all of his campaign rallies, you can't always get what you want. the predhas felt the pushback from tony fauci, from deborah birx, from people like andrew cuomo who is going to give that
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press conference today in just about ten minutes time. also from liz cheney in the house republican leadership, saying there will be no functioning economy to go back to if you have got thousands of people dying, laying dying in overflowing hospitals. the president has continued to signal the increasing realism that this is not going to be possible. he just tweeted a few minutes ago that japan had made a very wise decision to postpone the olympics. well, the olympics are scheduled for july. so by praising that decision, he is recognizing that this is going to go on for a while. not just in the united states but around the world. so i think that the president is always pushed and pulled by people he talked to, by polls, by the stock market. we do see the stock market going up today in response to the stimulus bill. that's good news for the economy. ben bernanke, the former fed chair, saying this might not be a great depression. all that is going to be some
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comfort to the president. he said yesterday he's going to be guided by data. tony fauci said he's going to be guided by data. i think he's backing off that very ambitious timeline. >> we hope he follows the science. the facts of the science. john harwood, appreciate the latest reporting. joining me, dr. jeremy foust, an emergency room physician and instructor at harvard medical school, and dr. she shaw. dr. foust, let me start with you first. when you say it, the number of cases in new york city are doubling every three days. what does that tell you about the arc of this, and put that into the context of the president saying, well, maybe in a couple weeks we might be ready to dial it back? >> yeah, this is an important moment, and let me just say this about the president of the united states. today is a new day. and tomorrow is another day. and if he sees fit to make policy that saves the most lives, then he can be a great president. and we see leadership, and we see lack of leadership in some
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places. so that's the diagnosis. but what's the prescription? the prescription is two things. right now, in places like new york, where there's a lot of disease, you have to have shelter in place. you cannot ignore the fact on the ground that doubling time we're hearing does not comport, does not agree with some of the data we have heard so far about how fast this virus moves. in places like new york, shelter in place must be continued and maybe for longer. if it comes from president trump himself, it's more powerful because it might be unexpected. the second thing is in places where maybe the disease is not as prevalent, and those places, quarantining people who enter and trying to decrease how many people come and go can help protect our citizens. we're seeing innovation, seeing people stepping up. governor cuomo yesterday gave us, e.r. doctors like me legal protection so we could make decisions normally people would second guess, and i am looking for governor baker to do the same. it makes a difference when
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people step up. >> it certainly does. we appreciate the medical heroes in the community. dr. shaw, i want toput onthe screen, u.s. cases over time. the steady growth of the cases here in the united states. some of this is because there's more testing so you have higher numbers. had you just see the ramp up like that, when the president says he hopes there's soon a day where you can send at least much of america back to work, dissect, help me dissect that, if you will. you certainly can't do that in new york city right now. you can't likely do that in new york state right now. are there places around the country, might the president be right, pockets of america where we're getting close to that moment or is it way too soon to know that? >> yeah, so good morning, john. thanks for having me. listen, all of us hope that there is a day sooner rather than later when we can open back up again. it's going to have to depend on the facts on the ground. and the facts on the ground are going to be determined by how much testing capacity we have, how many people are infected, what the rate of infection is. right now, we are in a bad situation. it's not just new york, i think,
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as your reporter mentioned earlier. new orleans, atlanta, parts of florida, these are the places that are going to be hit very hard. new jersey, very hard over the next week or two. what i want to see is a massive ramp-up on testing, smart testing, and then we can decide, are there places that can open up a little? but deciding right now is very hard. >> deciding right now very hard. to that point, i want to read a tweet from the president of the united states, he's happy that u.s. testing is better, in a better position today than several days ago, and thank god, several weeks ago. he said just reported the united states has done far more testing than any other nation by far. in fact, over an eight-day span, the united states now dust more testing than south korea does in an eight-week span. great job. is it a great job? are we in the right place now as opposed to a few weeks ago when we were way behind or just in a better place with a long way to go still? >> i see progress. but the only way to do this successfully is to take the south korean model and do what
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america does best, which is to supersize it. and we're starting to do that. and but it's delayed. but then, what do you do next? we have to know what to do next with that information. and people are stepping up. my publication brief, we broke news the other day that the cdc will be rolling out a much, much more comprehensive reporting system on every hospital in the country as to where the disease is, how many beds are filled, how many ventilators are being used. this is information that's going to help public officials, local officials, and even some of that detail will be available to the public, some of it will not be, but it will help nonprofits like get org. we have to play the ball, we have to know where to put our resources. people are really participating. when my little publication, where doctors and emergency doctors and health policy
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experts, when we broke that news, and we beat every other news agency, people just reached out and said good job. congratulations. how can we help? there's a camaraderie right now across the board. my friends at the cdc are telling me they're seeing more camaraderie and people working together than they have ever seen. we see it, we're in a fearful moment, but there's hope if we work together and act on the information that we are receiving. we need more. >> we need more information. that is certainly effective. let me close the conversation. what's missing? as somebody watching at home who doesn't have your expertise, what is missing from conversation, either from us in the news media or from our leadership to help the average american out there decide what to do next, today, tomorrow, and next week? >> yeah, so john, i think one of the things we're missing is that we have to understand this is the long ball. this disease does not go away next week or two weeks from now or by easter. it's going to be with us for 12 to 18 months, until we have a vaccine that's effective. so we should be thinking about
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the long ball here. we should be making decisions today on how we're going to get through the next 12 to 18 months, how we're going to preserve our economy, keep people safe. i feel like every decision is what are we doing tomorrow, what are we doing next week? we also have to think about what do we do next month, over the next 18 months. >> hopefully we can keep that context as we cover the day-to-day developments. really appreciate your insights and expertise. be sure to watch our next town hall on cnn, 8:00 p.m. eastern on cnn. >> we're expecting to hear from andrew cuomo, his daily update on the coronavirus numbers and response in that state. we'll bring you that live as soon as the governor gets under way.
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the senate will be back in session in just under an hour. they're expected to pass and quickly pass a historic $2 trillion stimulus package. that package ironed out last night. manu raju up on capitol hill. take us through the latest here. i expect once they come in they're going to move it now that they have a deal, move it quickly. >> they're doing to do just that. behind the scene, leadership on both sides in the house and senate are briefing their members about exactly what is in the proposal. this morning, the senate democratic leaders, senate republican leaders each had their own respective conference calls with their caucuses to walk through what exactly was agreed to, because this deal sweeping as it is, most expensive rescue package in american history, was really only concocted by a handful of members. the leadership on both sides of the aisle, as well as ahandful of people within the trump administration and the white house, meeting on five days of marathon negotiations. ultimately cutting a deal at about 1:00 a.m. earlier this
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morning, and now, the details are still coming out. their drafts of this legislation circling on capitol hill, but formally, this bill has not yet been introduced, nevertheless, senate leaders are pushing to get this approved today. they need to insure none ofthies members will object and prevent passage of these sweeping measures. members are eager to read through the bill text, but it will be doubtful -- >> sorry to interrupt. we need to go to andrew cuomo. >> worked with me for a long time, from the attorney general's office and he's part of our s.w.a.t. team. we have the president of empire college, dr. howard zucker, health commissioner, the secretary to the governor, we have a lot of interesting news today. things are moving. current status, we still have
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the trajectory going up. we have not turned the trajectory, nor have we hit the apex. remember what that line is going to do. it's going to go up, reach a high point, tip, go back down. we're still on the way up the mountain. number of infections that have been coming in, 80% still self resolved. about 15% of the people who test positive require hospitalization. and then there are degrees of hospitalization. but the total universe that requires hospitalization is 15%. we use projection models. we have cornell weil, which is a great medical institute that does projection models, we use mckinsey, the department of health does projection models. the projection models are important because they are
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projecting the possible trajectory and projecting the possible need. so we're planning for a need. the projection models do that. the projection models are just that. they are models of projections. they're not necessarily definitive, but it's the only device we have to plan. follow the data, follow the data, follow the data. the actual hospitalizations have moved at a higher rate than the projected models, than all of the projected models. so that was obviously concerning. because that higher infection rate means faster, higher capacity on the hospitals, and that's the critical point for us, is the number of people going to hospitals. right now, what we're looking at is about 140,000 cases coming in to the hospitals.
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the hospital capacity is 53,000 beds. that's a problem. we're looking at about 40,000 icu cases coming into the hospitals. we have about 3,000 icu beds. that's a challenge. what is an icu bed for these purposes? basically, a bed with a ventilator. the ventilator is the most critical piece of equipment for an intensive care unit bed because this is a respiratory illness and people need more ventilation than usual. what do we want to do? reduce the number of cases coming into the hospitals. slow the number of cases coming into the hospitals. that's what dr. fauci's talking about on tv every day. flatten the curve, flatten the curve, flatten the curve. slow the number of people coming into hospitals so we can deal with them in the hospitals. and we are working on that. at the same time, increase your
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hospital capacity. right? so try to slow the number of cases coming into the hospital. meanwhile, raise your hospital capacity. we are working on both simultaneously. we have been from day one. reduce the number of cases coming in, flatten the curve, slow the spread of the infection. we are doing everything we can on that. that's banning nonessential workers, that's social distancing, that's closing restaurants, closing gyms, just flatten the curve, slow the infection rate. one issue we had was in new york city, where we had higher level of density than we wanted, especially in the new york city parks. especially with young people. i have been as direct as i can and as blunt as i can on young people and the misinformation that they have. you can catch the coronavirus.
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you may think you are a superhero. you're really not. you can catch it. and you can transfer it, which makes you dangerous to the people who you love. but the new york city parks have been a problem. i saw the problem myself first-hand. i spoke to mayor de blasio, i spoke to speaker johnson. we said come up with a plan in 24 hours that everybody agreed with. they came up with a plan. we're now implementing that plan. i signed off on that plan. the plan is going to pilot closing streets in new york city. because we have much less traffic in new york city. we have many fewer vehicles in new york city. open streets. people want to walk, they want to get some air. you want less dense area. so pilot closing streets to cars. opening streets to pedestrians.
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we'll also enact mandatory playground social density. probably a new concept. no close contact sports in a playground. no basketball, for example. you cannot do it. we're asking people to do that on a voluntary basis. if there is noncompliance with that, we will then make it mandatory and we will actually close the playgrounds. we don't want to do that. because playgrounds are a place to go out and get open air. but you have to exercise social density even in a playground. and again, it's voluntary. the mayor is going to make it clear that this is important to the people of the city. if it doesn't happen, we will actually close down playgrounds. i don't want to do that. but we do need to reduce the spread of the infection. and that is what is most
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important. this is very interesting. because the evidence suggests that the density control measures may be working. and again, we're doing this from projections. but look at this because it's interesting. this past sunday, the projection was that hospitalizations were doubling every two days. okay. on monday, the numbers suggested that the hospitalizations were doubling every 3.4 days. on tuesday, the projections suggested that the hospitalizations were doubling every 4.7 days. now, that is almost too good to be true. but the theory is given the density that we're dealing with, it spreads very quickly, but if you reduce the density, you can reduce the spread very quickly.
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so these projections, i have watched them bounce all over the place. and i don't place a great deal of stock in any one projection. all due respect to all the great academics and statisticians who are doing it, but this is a very good sign and a positive sign. again, i'm not 100% sure it holds or it's accurate. but the arrows are headed in the right direction. and that is always better than the arrows headed in the wrong direction. so to the extent people say, boy, these are burdensome requirements, social distancing, no restaurants, no nonessential workers. yes, they are burdensome. by the way, they are effective, and they're necessary, and the evidence suggests at this point that they have slowed the hospitalizations. and this is everything.
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slowing the hospitalization rates coming into the hospitals are everything, so the hospitals can deal with the rate of people coming in. at the same time, increased hospital capacity. what is the high point? you see that line in the beginning. what we're studying is what is the high point of that line, what is the apex of that line. that is the point of the greatest number of people coming into the hospital system, so that's our greatest load, is the apex. and when is that going to happen? again, that is a projection. again, that moves around. but the current projection is that could be in 21 days. so ramp up the hospital capacity to make -- to be able to handle that apex volume. how do you ramp up hospital capacity? you ramp up beds, ramp up staff, and ramp up the equipment. and the ventilators are the problem in equipment as we have
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discussed many times. where are we on that? beds, we may need 140,000. we have 53,000. that's the existing capacity of hospitals. we have told all hospitals they have to increase their capacity by 50%. i told them that myself on a conference call yesterday. this is a burden for the hospitals. to now say you have to increase capacity 50%, but i have to tell you, they were very generous about it. and they understood what we were dealing with. and they were eager to step up to the plate. if you increase hospital capacity by 50%, that gets you 27,000 beds on top of the existing, it takes you to 80,000. some hospitals, i asked as a goal, try to increase by 100% your capacity. 50% was the minimum. the goal was 100%. i believe some hospitals will actually try to do that.
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and i encouraged themds. but now is the time to be aggressive and do things you haven't done before. if some of them do that, and i believe some of them will, that would be additional 5,000 beds. we get to 85,000 beds. fema, army corps of engineers, what we're doing in javits center, what we're doing in the westchester convention center, west bury campus, stonybrook campus, that's another 4,000. takes us to 89,000. the u.s. navy ship comfort, the president dispatched, that would be 1,000 beds to backfill from hotels. that takes you to 90,000. if we take all the state dormitories in downstate new york, that could get us an additional 29,000 beds. %-p0
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that you need, but then we're looking at hotels, we're looking at former nursing homes, converting other facilities to make up the differential. so a lot creative, aggressive, but in life, you do what you have to do. and that's what we're doing on the bed capacity. protective equipment, we have been shopping around the world. we have a whole team that's doing it. right now, we have enough protective equipment, gloves, masks, gowns, for all the hospital state-wide that are dealing with it. i brought a shipment down to new york yesterday. today, no hospital, no nurse, no doctor can say legitimately, i don't have protective equipment. right now, and for the foreseeable future, we have a supply. we do not yet have secured a supply for three weeks from now, four weeks from now, five weeks
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from now, but we are still shopping. and taking care of this immediate need was also good news, and a good job by the team and again, we're still shopping for more equipment. ventilators, verntilators, ventilators. we need 30,000. we have in the existing hospital system 4,000 ventilators. this is just in the normal operation of hospitals, et cetera. we have purchased 7,000. and we are still shopping. federal government has sent 4,000. we're exploring splitting, where one ventilator could do two patients. italy has had todothisbecause they were forced to do it. i want to see if we can study it and do it a little smarter and have a little more time experimenting with it, but we're looking at splitting the ventilators. we're still working with the federal government to try to find more ventilators.
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but that is our single greatest challenge, are the ventilators. again, the icu beds, that really means a ventilated bed because, again, this is the number one piece of equipment that we need. you have beds, you have equipment, you need staff. and you need staff understanding that some staff is going to get sick. and they're going to be out. so we have been working on putting together a surge health care force. go back to the retirees, go back to nurses and doctors who may not be in the hospital, direct medical care occupation, and ask them to sign up for possible reserve duty. god bless them, 40,000 people have signed up as a surge health care force. 2,000 physicians,
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anesthesiologists, nurse practitioners, respiratory, rns, lpns, 40,000 people have signed up. that is a very -- that's a big, big deal. because you can create beds. you can find the equipment. you have to have the staff. and you have to have the staff for those additional beds, which are not now in the hospital system. and you have to have staff when the existing staff gets ill. or, by the way, just can't work the hours that we're going to need people to be working. so that's very good. this is also very exciting. i don't know that anyone else has done this. we have talked about the emotional stress that this brings on people. and the mental health stress and the mental health challenges. no one is really talking about this. you know, we're all concerned
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about the immediate critical need, the life and death of the immediate situation, which is right. but don't underestimate the emotional trauma that people are feeling and the emotional health issues. we asked for mental health professionals to voluntarily sign up to provide online mental health services. 6,000 mental health professionals agreed to volunteer to provide mental health services for people who need it. how beautiful is that? and the hotline, 1-844-863-9314. you can call that hotline, you can schedule an appointment with a mental health professional. totally free. to talk to them about what you're feeling and what stress you're feeling. and again, god bless the 6,000 mental health professionals who
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are doing this 100% free. on top of whatever they have to do in their normal practice. and i'm sure in their normal practice, they're busy. so this is really an extraordinary, extraordinary step by them. federal government, i spoke with president trump several times. i spoke with him last night. i spoke with him this morning. i have spoken to people in the white house who are handling these operations. i have spoken with the vice president. i have spoken with jared kushner, who is a new yorker. he knows new york. and he's working in the white house, and he's been extraordinarily helpful on all of these situations. what we're working on is a common challenge. no one has these ventilators, and no one ever anticipated a situation where you would need
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this number of ventilators to deal with a public health emergency. so we have purchased everything that can be purchased. we're now in a situation that we're trying to accelerate production of these ventilators, and a ventilator is a complicated piece of equipment. the president and his team, i think, are using the dpa well because it's basically a leverage tool when you're dealing with private companies. right. we need your help. we can demand your help or you could agree to help and we need you to step up and increase production. even with that, there's a ramp-up time for a company to put together the supply chain, put together the workforce, and get these things up and running. so ford is going to help, general motors is going to help.
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the problem is our timeline is so short, we're looking at an apex 21 days, in that range. to get ventilators and these business consortiums put together, supply chain, design team, ramped up and delivered 30,000 ventilators is an extraordinarily difficult task. and it's something that our team is working on with the white house team. and i want to thank the president for his cooperation, and his team for their cooperation. we're getting very creative. we're talking to countries around the world. as well as new companies that could do production. we're also talking to the white house about another concept. new york has the greatest need in terms of numbers. new york also has the most
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critical need in terms of timing. we talk about our apex. we talk about that curve. different localities, different regions around the country are going to have different curves. we are in some ways first. our case numbers went up first. our trajectory is first. by a long shot. different regions will have their curve at different times. what i said to the president and his team was, look, rather than saying we have to provide equipment for the entire country at one time, let's talk about addressing the critical need in that hot spot. once that hot spot turns, because you have an apex and then you have a curve, and the curve is relatively short. once you address that hot spot with that intensity and intense
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equipment, intense personnel, then shift to the next hot spot. and have more of a rolling deployment across the country than a static deployment. i was in the federal government at hud. i worked on dozens of disasters. you deal with a disaster in front of you at that time, and then you move on to the next disaster. and i think that rolling deployment could work here. and on behalf of new york, i said we will be 100% helpful. we need help from the entire country right now. we need resources from the entire country right now. and because our apex is first, and our numbers are highest, but the apex high point will be sequential across the country. so i said to the white house, send us the equipment that we
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need. send us the personnel. as soon as we get past our critical moment, we will redeploy that equipment and personnel to the next hot spot. and i will personally guarantee it and personally manage it. so if you send us 15,000 ventilators, and then after our curve, los angeles needs 15,000 ventilators, we can take the equipment from here, we can take the personnel from here, we can take the lessons from here. you know, we go first. we're going to learn things that nobody else has learned, because we're going to be the first one through the shoe. and i personally guarantee that we will bring that equipment, we will bring that personnel, we'll bring that technical assistance to the next hot spot.
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i said to the president, i'll be part of going to the next hot spot with our team. we're asking the country to help us. we will return the favor. and we are all in this together. and we're asking for their help, and their consideration, and we will repay it with dividends. the senate is also considering a $2 trillion bill, which is quote/unquote relief for businesses, individuals, and governments. it would really be terrible for the state of new york, the $2 trillion bill, what does it mean for new york state government? it means $3.8 billion. $3.8 billion sounds like a lot of money. the budget director can walk you through the numbers but we're
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looking at a revenue shortfall of $9 billion, $10 billion, $15 billion. this response to this virus has probably already cost us $1 billion. it will probably cost us several billion dollars when we're done. new york city only gets $1.3 billion from this package. that is a drop in the bucket as to need. i spoke to our house delegation, congressional delegation this morning. i said to them, this doesn't do it. you know, i understand the senate theory and the republican theory. but we need the house to make adjustments. and the house bill that went over, new york state got $17 billion. in the senate bill, we get $3.8 billion. and, well, you just, big spending. we're not a big spending state.
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i cut taxes every year. i have the lowest growth rate of the state budget in modern political history. okay. so we are frugal, and we are efficient. i'm telling you, these numbers don't work. i told the house members that we really need their help. in terms of numbers, total tested, we're up to 130,000 people. new tests, we're up to 12,000. as of yesterday, about 28% of all testing nationwide has been performed by the state of new york. state of new york is doing more testing than any state in the united states of america. and i'm very proud of the team on how we have mobilized and gotten this testing up and running. people ask how does the testing work? any hospital in the state can perform testing. you can walk into a hospital in buffalo, new york, if you show the symptoms and meet the
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protocol, you can be tested. strategically, we deploy testing in the most dense areas. where do we set up the drive' throughs, et cetera. why? because we're hunting positives. we're hunting positives so we can isolate them and reduce the spread. you're more likely to get positives in a high-positive area. right? set up a drive-through in the bronx versus set up a drive-through in chatauqua county, you're going to get more positives in the bronx. that's what we want. but anyone anywhere in the state, you have symptoms, you're concerned, you can walk into any hospital, that hospital can get a test performed. number of positive cases, we're up to 30,000. number of new cases, 5,000. again, you see the numbers. 13,000. i'm sorry, 17,000, new york city.
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4,000 in westchester. 3,000 in nassau county. relatively, westchester, we have dramatically slowed what was an exponential increase. so again, on the good news side, can you slow the rate of infection? yes. how do you know? look at what we did in westchester. that was the hottest cluster in the united states of america. we closed the schools. we closed gatherings. we brought in testing. and we have dramatically slowed the increase. nassau county is 3,000. they're relatively right behind westchester. they were at like zero when westchester had started. so we can slow it, and we have slowed it. again, you see it spreading across the state. which we said it would. current numbers, 30,000 tested
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positive. 12% of those who test positive are hospitalized. 3% of the positives are in icu. okay. this is deep breath time again. i'm anxious. i'm nervous. what does it mean? 30,000 tested positive. 12% are in the hospital. 3% are in icu. if you look at those 3%, they're going to be predominantly senior citizens, people with underlying illnesses, people with emphysema, people with a compromised immune system. that's what this effort is all about. all the noise, all the energy, it's about that 3%. take a deep breath. now, that 3%, that's my mother,
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that's your mother, that's your sister. these are people we love. these are our grandparents. and we're going to do everything we can to protect every one of them. i give the people of the state of new york my word that we're doing it. but we're talking about 3% of the people who tested positive who we're worrying about. most impacted states, we're 30,000. next closest state is new jersey at 3,000. california at 2,000. this is a really dramatic differential. this is what i argue to anyone who will listen. we have ten times the problem that the next state has, which is new jersey. you compare us to california, which is larger in terms of population, we have 15 times the problem. now, you have to ask yourself
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why. why does new york have such a high number? and again, in the totality, we understand what it means. but why does new york have such a high number? and this is my personal opinion. i like to make sure that i separate facts from personal opinion. the facts i give you are the best facts i have. and again, the data changes day to day, but i give you exactly what i on a day-to-day basis. personal opinion, why does new york have so many more cases than any other state? how can it be? you're 15 times the number of california. i mean, really is breathtaking when you think about it. state of massachusetts, with 30 times the number of cases. so why is the question that people ask me. two answers. answer one is because we welcome
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people from across the globe. we have people coming here, we have people who came here from china, who came here from italy, who came here from countries all around the globe. we have international travelers who were in china and who were in italy and who were in korea and who came here. i have no doubt that the virus was here much earlier than we even know. and i have no doubt that the virus was here much earlier than it was in any other state. because those people come here first. that's the first answer. the second answer is, because we are close. because we are close. we talk about the virus and how it transfers in a dense area.
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it's literally because it's riliterally because we are close, because we live close to one another, because we're close to one another on the street, because we live in close communities, because we're close to one another on the bus. we're close to one another in the restaurant. we're close to one another in the movie theater. and we have one of the most dense, close environments in the country. and that's why the virus communicated the way it did. our closeness makes us vulnerable. our closeness makes us vulnerable. that spatial closeness makes us vulnerable. but it's true that your greatest weakness is also your greatest
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strength. and our closeness is what makes us who we are. that is what new york is. our closeness is what makes us special. our acceptance, our openness is what makes us special. it's what makes us feel so connected one to another. it's what makes us so accepting of one another. it is the closeness that makes us the human beings that we are. the closeness is that new york humanity that i think exists nowhere else. the closeness is what makes our sense of community. and there's a gentleman who i still look to for guidance and
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for leadership and for inspiration. he's not here anymore for you. he's still here for me. but he said things more from profound and more beautifully than most other people ever have. and one of the things he said that is so appropriate for today -- "we believe in a single fundamental idea that describes better than most textbooks and any speech that i could write what a proper government should be: the idea of family, mutuality, the sharing of benefits and burdens for the good of all, feeling one another's pain, sharing one another's blessings -- reasonably, honestly, fairly, without respect to race or sex or geography or political affiliation.
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that is new york. it is that closeness, that concept of family, of community. that's what makes new york new york. and that's what made us vulnerable here. but it is also that closeness and that connection and that humanity and that sharing that is our greatest strength, and that is what is going to overcome at the end of the day. i promise you that. i can see how new yorkers are responding. i can see how new yorkers are treating one another. i see the 6,000 mental health volunteers. i see the 40,000 health care workers stepping up. i see the vendors calling me, saying, "i can help." that's new york. that's new york. and that, my friends, is undefeatable. and i am glad in some ways that
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we're first with this situation, because we will overcome and we will show the other communities across this country how to do it. we'll be there for them. we want them to be there for us. and we will be there for each other, as we always have been. any questions? >> how does the state decide who is priority when it comes to ventilators? >> we have no anticipation of having to prioritize ventilator usage. our goal is to have a ventilator for anyone who needs one. >> you showed numbers that showed you're optimistically at 15,000 and you say you're going to need 40,000. so, some nitty gritty questions. where are those ventilators that have come in from fema going?
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did you get any commitment from the white house that they're going to send more than the 4,000 that they've committed already? and what is the plan to reach that number the same way you plan to increase hospital beds? >> yeah, it's a good question, jimmy. first, the ventilators that are coming in, we're putting into stockpile, we'll deploy from the stockpile as we need them. literally deploy on a need basis, right? so, if one hospital calls up and says, we're overwhelmed, this is what we need, we'll be in a position to deploy. the increase the beds is within our control, right? there are beds in this state. they're not hospital beds, and you have to figure out how to convert them to hospital beds and you have to figure out how to get access to them. but we have beds. so, that is a logistical operational challenge. how do you turn a dorm room into a hospital bed, right? how do we build a hospital in javits center?
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the ventilators are different. we don't have them. the federal government does not have them either. no one has a stockpile of these. the federal government has to acquire them the same way we have to acquire them. i'm working with the white house in creative ways to acquire them -- getting companies to ramp up, getting companies to retrofit other machines. there's rolling deployment methodology. but nobody has them. there is no medical stockpile in washington that magically can make them appear. >> there was a report in 2015 where the state suggested, or a task force suggested maybe new york should increase its stockpile. any reason that that wasn't done? >> jimmy, that's not the fact, and you know it. read the fact-checkers on it. there was an advisory commission called law and the life -- life
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and the law, that had a chart in 2015 that said, if you had the 1918 spanish flu pandemic, you may need "x" number of ventilators. there is no state in the united states that bought ventilators for the 1918 spanish flu pandemic. the federal government did not buy ventilators for the 1918 spanish flu pandemic. nobody in the world bought ventilators in preparation for a 1918 spanish flu pandemic. >> the number you're reporting, how many of those have resolved? and are there -- in other words, one came back from iran -- [ inaudible ] clear now and -- >> yes. short answer is yes. you know, dr. zucker, the number of people who have resolved? does anyone have that here? besides the hopkins number? >> we have hundreds and hundreds
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of people who have left the hospital, and those individuals have resolved, and there are many other individuals who never even came into the hospital, and we can try to get you an exact number on that. >> do you have a mechanism for reporting that? because i think -- changed criteria -- the rules are clear on some changes. talk a little bit about that, what was going on? >> well, we're following the cdc guidelines and recommendations that after seven days, if you are positive, and after seven days of being positive, as along as you are more than 72 hours without symptoms, then -- >> this is the best data, okay? this is johns hopkins. it's every case since china, 435,000. 19,000 deaths. and again, i'll bet you doughnuts to doughnuts, you look at those 19,000 -- senior
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citizen, compromised immune system, et cetera, et cetera. recovery's 100,000, right? roughly 10%, pending 300,000. but yes, the recoveries are recoveries. you get it. the people we've had -- people i know, they stay home for two weeks, and they then test negative. you can test negative in two weeks. you can test negative in three weeks. you can test negative in one week after you have it. that is going to be the vast overwhelming number of people. the biggest number, when this is done and we can actually go back and test, the biggest number is going to be people who had had who resolved who never knew they had it. that's going to be the biggest number. and the reason we want to get to that test is because then when you talk about restarting the economy, you have a test that says you, andrew, were exposed to it in february. and by the way, you are recovered and you have the
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antibodies. go back to work. >> the number of icu cases -- >> i'm sorry, i cut off jessie, and when i cut off jesse, then he gets annoyed at me and then i pay for the next -- >> the number of icu spaces today is a third of the -- or a third of the icu beds that are currently available in the state. do we still not have a bigger idea as to how much the availability of those beds currently is? so, it's 3,000 minus 888 -- >> the icu beds for our purposes are beds with ventilators, okay? that's really -- we can create today more icu beds with ventilators we already have in house, right? so, we have 14,000 ventilatorve. if we had to today, we could create 14,000 ventilated beds, if we were bumping up against