New York reported that 779 people died from the CCP virus in a 24-hour span on April 7, even as average daily hospitalizations continued to decline, suggesting the state may be at or near the peak of the outbreak.
The grim statistic was offset by a glimmer of hope from hospital data. The three-day average of daily new hospitalizations dropped for the fifth straight day, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city would need much fewer ventilators than expected.
New York City’s death toll climbed past 6,000 on April 8. The Big Apple is at the epicenter of the nation’s outbreak of the CCP virus, also known as novel coronavirus.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo echoed White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci in noting that the number of deaths from the CCP virus can continue to rise even as hospitalizations decline, because many of the patients dying on any given day may have been in the hospital several days or weeks.
“I understand the science of it. I understand the facts and the logic of it. But it is still incredibly difficult to deal with,” Cuomo said at a daily briefing on April 8. “Every number is a face, and that’s been painfully obvious to me every day.”
Cuomo ordered flags statewide to be flown at half-staff to honor those who have died of COVID-19.
As the state begins to honor the fallen, signs of hope are beginning to emerge in New York City, which reported putting 100 or fewer new ventilators to use every day this week, down from 200 to 300 every day last week. De Blasio now estimates the city has sufficient ventilators for at least a week.
“In the last few days, we’ve actually seen fewer ventilators needed than were projected,” de Blasio said on April 8. “We expected the number of ventilators being needed being more and more going into this week. We’ve seen actually much fewer needed than we expected.”
Mirroring the statewide trend, the city is seeing the number of new hospitalizations stabilize. “For a long time, that just kept going up and up. We’re now seeing some leveling off,” de Blasio said.
The mayor and the governor both stressed that it is far too early to attempt to return to normal life. The state’s stay-at-home order and social distancing rules are helping to suppress the outbreak, de Blasio and Cuomo said, while cautioning that the signs of light at the end of the tunnel shouldn’t give way to complacency.
“We are flattening the curve because we are rigorous about social distancing,” Cuomo said. “But it’s not a time to be complacent. It’s not a time to do anything different than we’ve been doing.”
Neither the governor nor the mayor sounded alarms about potential personnel, supply, and equipment shortages. De Blasio said the city urgently needs more surgical gowns and that he had requested more than 9 million from the federal government.
The White House CCP virus task force has rushed personnel, equipment, and supplies to the city as the outbreak worsened throughout the month of March. The Army Corps of Engineers retrofitted a convention center into a 1,000-bed hospital. The Navy deployed a 1,000-bed hospital ship. At Cuomo’s request, President Donald Trump on April 6 authorized for both hospitals to be used exclusively for COVID-19 patients.
In neighboring New Jersey, the second worst-hit state nationwide, officials reported 232 deaths in a 24-hour period on April 7, the deadliest day of the outbreak in the Garden State. The state’s projected peak may be weeks away, according to Gov. Phil Murphy.
“It’s almost unfathomable when you think about it—1,232 lost lives,” Murphy said on April 8.
More than 420,000 cases have been confirmed in the United States, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. While hot spots have sprouted in the District of Columbia, Louisiana, Chicago, Detroit, Colorado, and Pennsylvania, social distancing measures in other states, including California and Washington, appear to be paying off.
White House officials are already preparing to get the nation back to business. Fauci said on April 7 that the Trump administration is planning to eventually reopen the country amid signs of a turnaround that suggests that social distancing is helping curb the spread of the CCP virus.