The state of New York — and, in particular, its most populous city — has been ravaged particularly hard by the coronavirus. As of this writing, the state has 138,000 cumulative cases of COVID-19, the respiratory illness that is caused by the virus, and over 4,700 deaths. Those numbers account for roughly a third of both the total number of cases and the number of deaths from the disease in the U.S.
Despite this, Cuomo says that the casualties in his state died despite efforts to provide them with lifesaving care.
“Our health care system is operating. I don’t believe we’ve lost a single person because we couldn’t provide care. People we lost we couldn’t save despite our best efforts,” he said.
That no one in New York has died from a lack of medical attention in response to COVID-19 is something of a victory, inasmuch as concerns have been raised — in New York and in other states — about the lack of ventilators and other crucial medical supplies needed to treat those ravaged by the illness.
Further, officials have warned since the beginning of the pandemic that if the country doesn’t “flatten the curve,” hospitals and health care systems would be overwhelmed and would be unable to treat the expected number of victims.
Last week, Cuomo had warned that New York City didn’t have enough ventilators. However, the state authorized the release of hundreds of ventilators from outside hospitals and moved them to the city. New York has also secured such equipment from other states such as Oregon, as well as from China.
Cuomo further noted that although the disease has ravaged the state of New York, the lives that could have been saved were indeed saved.
“You can’t save everyone. This virus is very good at what it does, and it kills vulnerable people. The question is, are you saving everyone you can save? And there the answer is yes, and I take some solace in that fact.”
There are signs that the pandemic appears to be slowing in New York. For example, on Tuesday, the state reported just over 8,100 new cases of COVID-19 — the lowest single-day increase in a week. The number of patients moved to intensive care has dropped as well.