President Donald Trump agreed to dispatch a 1,000-bed Naval hospital ship to New York Harbor amid the widening coronavirus crisis, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday, according to The New York Times.
Earlier in the day, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for U.S. military assistance as 8 million residents awaited a potential shelter-in-place order.
The cases in the city have swelled to more than 1,300 cases and at least 10 deaths, according to news reports. That’s up three fatalities and more than 400 cases from just a day earlier, The New York Post reported.
The state of New York on Wednesday announced more than 2,300 total cases, which was an increase of more than 1,000 from Tuesday.
“It’s unbelievable how rapidly this crisis is growing right now,” the mayor said, according to MSNBC.
Reports say De Blasio went on the Today Show Wednesday and called for the government to increase the supply of ventilators, respirators and other equipment and supplies, saying "the American military is being sidelined.”
Voice of America News was the first to report de Blasio’s statement on Wednesday.
“If we don’t see a federal intervention — and I literally think the only example is the Depression and the New Deal to guide us — if we don’t see an intensive federal intervention to provide income replacement, meaning not just a $1,000 check one time or unemployment insurance, but a serious effort to keep people as whole as possible, you will see family household budgets collapse,” de Blasio said, according to The Post.
His was the second call for the federal government to step into the city's ongoing efforts to slow the spread of the virus.
On Tuesday, three New York representatives in Congress — Jose Serrano, Tom Suozzi and Max Rose — called onTrump to deploy the hospital ship to the region to help with the response, according to BuzzFeed.
In response to the growing crisis, de Blasio has already ordered schools closed, limited restaurant services, except for delivery and takeout, and shut down large entertainment events throughout the city.
De Blasio warned residents to be prepared to shelter in place as the number of coronavirus cases in the city soared to 923 late Tuesday, according to multiple news reports.
New York City would be the third city in the country — about 7 million residents of San Francisco and Oakland are under lockdown orders — to prohibit residents from leaving their homes “except for essential needs.”
“New Yorkers should be prepared right now for the possibility of a shelter-in-place order,” de Blasio said. “The decision will be made in the next 48 hours.”
But the impending order for the city’s residents does not have the full support of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, according to several news reports, including MSNBC and The Associated Press.
After much wrangling over the issue on Tuesday, de Blasio conceded that he would need the governor’s support to carry out the order.
“The idea of shelter-in-place has to be considered now,” de Blasio said. “It has to be done between, in our case, the city and state working together, respecting the state’s role.”
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