In Brief

New York calls for federal help as coronavirus cases soar

State is home to half of total US cases and 5% of those worldwide

The mayor of New York City has said that the coronavirus outbreak will only get worse in the state due to shortages of key medical supplies.

New York has around half the U.S’s 30,000 coronavirus cases and 5% of cases worldwide.

With the death toll from the virus hitting 99 on Sunday evening, the city went into lockdown as all New Yorkers were ordered to stay indoors from 8pm.

The state governor, Andrew Cuomo, and Mayor Bill de Blasio, are both increasing pressure on the White House to provide urgent federal assistance for desperately needed medical supplies. 

“If the president does not act, people will die who could have lived otherwise,” de Blasio said. “If we don’t get more ventilators in the next 10 days people will die who don’t have to die.”

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Donald Trump has promised additional aid, including activating the National Guard to help provide an additional 1,000 beds and extra face masks “within 48 hours”. But the city’s authorities say more is needed.

Cuomo has also attacked New Yorkers who ignore social distance in parks and on streets as “insensitive” and “arrogant”, adding: “I don’t know what I’m saying that people don’t get.”

Meanwhile, de Blasio, yesterday described the city as the “epicenter of this crisis in the United States of America”. “I am not happy to tell you that. You’re not happy to hear it”, de Blasio said, adding: “The worst is yet to come. April is going to be a lot worse than March. And I fear May could be worse than April.”

“At least tonight, for the first time in weeks, I heard a response that showed focus and acceptance of the sheer scope of the problem,” he said of a phone conversation with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence yesterday.

Meanwhile, CNN describes New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s press conferences as “appointment viewing”, noting that they form a “contrast” to President Donald Trump’s briefings.

The broadcaster reports that where Cuomo projects “competence and authority, with a dash of his idiosyncratic humour,” Trump is “meandering”.

As the virus sweeps the city, the New York Post says Brooklyn has seen the most cases with 3,154. Queens has 3,050, Manhattan has 2,324, the Bronx has 1,564 and in Staten Island there have been 666 cases.

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