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Nearly 400 people died in New York state from COVID-19 in the span of about 24 hours, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.
As of Tuesday, 1,550 coronavirus patients had died in New York, now the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States. By the time Cuomo spoke during his daily press conference in Albany on Wednesday, the state's death toll had soared to 1,941.
While the exact data rises and falls from day to day, the number of hospitalizations, patients in intensive care units, and intubations are overall climbing in New York, which now has nearly 84,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to Cuomo. More than 12,200 people are currently hospitalized.
“It’s like a bad groundhog movie, day after day after day,” Cuomo said, referring to the classic “Groundhog Day,” where Bill Murray is forced to relive the same day over and over. “When does it end? How does it end? I don’t know.”
Cuomo also used his briefing to break down the constantly shifting models that his office and others are using to calculate the scope of the pandemic. Under one model — which assumes that people don’t follow social distancing guidelines or that the guidelines have only a minimal impact on the spread of the virus — New York could need up to 110,000 hospital beds for COVID-19 patients, as well as 37,000 ventilators. Under another model, which assumes social distancing has more of an effect, the state would need 75,000 beds and 25,000 ventilators.
Under both models, the peak of the pandemic won’t arrive until the end of April.
“Our course for planning purposes is a moderate model, because in truth the higher models — we don’t even have a chance at meeting that capacity anyway,” Cuomo said. “You say over 110,000 beds, there is no possible way we could get there.”
Federal officials have predicted the coronavirus could kill 100,000 to 240,000 Americans.
Cuomo also shared projections from a model built by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which estimated that as many as 93,000 people could die from the coronavirus. About 16,000 New Yorkers would die.
“That would mean that New York is only 16%, roughly of the number of deaths. I don’t even understand that since New York is so much higher right now. But what that does say to the rest of the nation?” Cuomo said. “It says it’s a New York problem today. Tomorrow, it’s a Kansas problem and a Texas problem and a New Mexico problem.”
Toward the end of the briefing, Cuomo reflected on the fact that his younger brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, had been diagnosed with the coronavirus Tuesday. While the younger Cuomo isn’t hospitalized, the governor reiterated several times that the news had terrified him, because it left him out of control.
“It is frightening on a fundamental level,” Andrew Cuomo said. “It is threatening and it is scary and people are dying. He’s gonna be OK, and I believe that.”
Cover: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks as the Navy Hospital Ship USNS Comfort arrives in Manhattan's Pier 90 to help relieve the strain on local hospitals with its 1,000 beds and 1,200 personnel during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in New York City. (Photo by Ron Adar / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)