Gov. Andrew Cuomo has spoken in a plangent voice at many of his daily briefings on the coronavirus pandemic.
He has kept his cool under enormous pressure, but he lost it last week as he denounced people gathering in parks and other places despite his order to refrain from congregating in large groups.
The governor lost it again Wednesday as he denounced the U.S. Senate’s $2 trillion emergency aid plan, saying the bill would give New York an insufficient $3.8 billion, with about $1.3 billion slated for New York City.
“That is a drop in the bucket as to need. It would be terrible for New York,” Cuomo said at the briefing. “I spoke to our congressional delegation. This morning, I said to them, ‘This doesn’t do it.’ I understand the Senate theory and the Republican theory, but we need the House to make adjustments.”
A similar plan in the House gave the state $17 billion. Under the Senate bill, the $3.1 billion reserved for New York reflects only 1.9% of the state’s budget.
“Literally, 48 states get a higher percentage in funding than New York state,” Cuomo Communications Director Dani Lever said Wednesday. “The gross political manipulation is obvious.”
This is not a time to play politics.
The state had 30,811 positive cases of COVID-19 as of late Wednesday, with 285 deaths and 3,805 requiring hospitalization, or about 12%. Of those hospitalized Wednesday, 888 patients, or 3%, are in intensive care units.
Greene County has eight positive cases of COVID-19 in Windham, Durham, Greenville, Hunter and Cairo, as of Wednesday afternoon. None of the infected people required hospitalization, according to Greene County Public Health. Thirty-two people are in precautionary quarantine and are self-monitoring for possible exposure.
Columbia County reported 18 positive cases Wednesday — the same as Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine’s live global COVID-19 tracker. As of Tuesday, 82 were under mandatory quarantine and 76 in precautionary isolation.
The apex, or highest peak, of the state’s coronavirus epidemic could hit within the next 14 to 21 days — sooner than health officials anticipated. They said on March 17 the peak was 45 days away.
It doesn’t take a genius to calculate that without dramatic and immediate action at the federal level, the death toll in New York state will be high, extremely high. Federal lawmakers are playing dice with human lives.