Though New York recorded 799 deaths, a record-high number for the third day in a row, Governor Andrew Cuomo asserted that the novel coronavirus has not killed anyone due to a lack of care and said hospitalizations in the state were nearly flat.
"We didn't lose anyone that we could have saved and that is the only solace when I look at these numbers and I look at this pain that is created," Cuomo said, announcing the state will bring in additional funeral directors.
After beginning his daily presentation with a title of "?? DAY ??" on PowerPoint, Cuomo said the number of hospitalizations in the last day increased by only 200 people, or about one percent, signaling the number of patients heading to hospitals is continuing a downward trend. The change in ICU admissions was 84, the lowest since mid-March.
"The hospitalization rate does suggest that it's coming down, and we are flattening the curve," he said.
Cuomo said the "dramatic" increase in hospital capacity is helping frontline workers care for the influx of coronavirus cases and that there are more than 18,000 hospitalizations currently. The governor showed projections had New York needing between 53,000 beds in a moderate scenario and up to 110,000 in a worst-case scenario. "We can't handle the curve if it goes higher," he noted.
He again made comparisons between COVID-19's devastating toll and the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York City almost two decades ago.
"9/11 was supposed to be the darkest day in New York for a generation," Cuomo said. "We lose so many more New Yorkers to this silent killer. There was no explosion, but it was a silent explosion that just ripples through society with the same randomness, the same evil we saw on 9/11."
The state also will open up additional testing sites in primarily black and Latino communities after data showed that the racial groups were being hit harder by the virus.
"Let's learn how and why this virus kills, especially why we have higher fatality rates among African-Americans and Latinos and what we do about that," Cuomo said.
Meanwhile, despite what looks like a flattening curve, he emphasized that New Yorkers "no, you can't relax," reminding them that the 1918 Influenza pandemic hit in three devastating waves.
"Everybody is assuming, well, once we get through this, we're done," he said. "I wouldn't be so quick to assume that. This virus has been ahead of us from day one."