‘We Are Turning a Corner:’ NYU Langone Professor Urges New Yorkers Stay Home

April 4, 2020 Updated: April 4, 2020

A medical doctor and professor at NYU Langone said Saturday the run of the COVID-19 epidemic in New York appears to be showing signs of abating.

“The daily new death and case count from NYC is devastating. But I really do think we are turning a corner,” Leora Horwitz, MD, said in an April 4 tweet.

She pointed to encouraging data from NYC Health that showed a drop in emergency department visits by people with influenza-like illnesses (ILI) and respiratory symptoms.

“Daily ED visits for both ILI and respiratory symptoms are dropping. Still insanely higher than normal. But dropping,” she said, sharing a chart of emergency visits that showed falling numbers.

Horwitz, an associate professor in the Departments of Population Health and Medicine at NYU Langone, urged New Yorkers to “#StayHome a little longer,” in reference to repeated calls by officials for social distancing measures to curb the spread of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus.

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Army medical personnel walk amongst cubicles in Javits New York Medical Station in New York City, on April 3, 2020. (Reuters/Andrew Kelly)

All of New York State has been put, in the words of Governor Andrew Cuomo, “on pause,” with all non-essential workers directed to work from home and social distancing measures in place that require people to maintain a 6-foot distance from others in public.

“We set two missions. One was hospitals. Second was individual responsibility. The individual responsibility is about discipline. It’s about selflessness and being informed. The basic point is stay at home. Stay at home. I know it’s hard to stay at home and I know everyone thinks, you know, I can go out, I can be smart, and I won’t get infected because it’s me. I’m a superhero. It’s not going to be me. That is not true,” Cuomo said at a March 31 briefing.

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Firefighters remove personal protective equipment after responding to a medical call amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Chelsea, Massachusetts, on April 3, 2020. (Reuters/Brian Snyder)

New York on Friday reported its biggest jump in COVID-19 deaths, with the city suffering over a quarter of the 7,000-plus virus-related fatalities to date nationwide.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said that New York City, the pandemic’s U.S. epicenter, has mere days to prepare for the worst of the outbreak.

New York is in an “extraordinary race against time,” de Blasio told a news briefing on Friday, renewing his call for the federal government to mobilize the U.S. military.

“We’re dealing with an enemy that is killing thousands of Americans, and a lot of people are dying who don’t need to die,” he said. “You can’t say, every state for themselves, every city for themselves. That is not America.”

In New York, the state hardest hit by the coronavirus in sheer numbers of infections and lives lost, the cumulative number of fatalities rose to nearly 3,000.

“Personally, it’s hard to go through this all day, and then it’s hard to stay up all night watching those numbers come in,” Cuomo said at a briefing.

Still, besides the hopeful emergency department visit numbers cited by Horwitz, there are other encouraging figures. On April 2, there were 1,452 COVID-19 patients leaving hospitals in New York State, which is the first time since March 23 that the state reported more discharges than hospitalizations.

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