Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday that his city, one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, could be out of critical supplies in just one week.
De Blasio made the claim on CNN’s “State of the Union” with host Jake Tapper, saying that he believed NYC would exhaust all available supplies by Sunday, April 5. (RELATED: ‘Lead By Example!’: Meghan McCain Rips Into De Blasio For Gym Outing Amid Coronavirus Fears)
“You have been calling for more ventilators, more ICU hospital beds, more masks, more PPE,” Tapper began. “Your 911 system in New York City is overwhelmed with almost twice as many calls as normal. What do you need from the federal government right now and when do you think you’ll run out of the capacity to care for any New Yorker who is sick?”
De Blasio responded by saying that, so far, the federal government had been very responsive to his requests. “I want to say they’ve all been very available, very responsive,” de Blasio said. “I’ve told them all the same thing: Sunday, April 5th. We have enough supplies to get to a week from today, with the exception of ventilators, we’ll need several hundred more ventilators very quickly. Otherwise we have enough supplies to get through next Sunday.”
In addition to equipment, however, de Blasio said that New York City was likely to need personnel reinforcements within a week as well. “We will need a major reinforcement by Sunday, April 5th, in all categories, especially ventilators but other areas as well. Personnel is becoming more and more an issue. The military is very responsive on this, they have a lot of doctors and nurses. I’ve made a direct request to the president and the military to find us immediately more military medical personnel and get them here by next Sunday, but also to start figuring out how to get civilian medical personnel from around the country here.”
Noting the sharp increase in case numbers and fatalities over the last week, de Blasio continued, “We’re over a quarter of the nation’s cases, here in New York City. I only can guarantee you the next week. That’s how difficult, that’s how challenging it is. And our front line health care workers, Jake, are giving their all. They’re in harm’s way. We need to get them relief. We need to get them support and protection but also relief. They can’t keep up at this pace for weeks and weeks and weeks ahead and expect to save lives the way we need them to.”
The U.S. Navy has already deployed one hospital ship, the USS Comfort, to New York’s harbor in an effort to take on some of the non-coronavirus patients and decrease the load on the city’s hospitals.