New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in his update Tuesday that 778 more coronavirus deaths were reported in his state, as he tries to defuse criticism from President Donald Trump.
The new deaths continue a plateau pattern of about 700 New York deaths each day for the last week. It raised the state death total to 10,834.
“It is basically flat at a devastating level of pain and grief,” he said.
For the third straight day, the number of U.S. deaths declined on Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The daily toll peaked Friday at more than 2,000 deaths. There have been more than 598,000 cases and more than 25,000 deaths nationwide.
Cuomo said at his briefing Tuesday his state has reached the top of the curve, but cautioned that lockdown restrictions must be maintained or the progress could be lost “in a week.”
The governor also answered criticisms from Trump on Monday, when the president tweeted that he — not state governors — is in charge of lifting restrictions.
He told CNN that if he was ordered by Trump to “reopen in a way that would endanger the public health of the people of my state, I wouldn’t do it.”
“And we would have a constitutional challenge between the state and the federal government and that would go into the courts,” he added.
Trump answered again Tuesday, saying “I got it all done for him” and vowed Cuomo’s bid for “independence” won’t happen. The New York governor refused to fuel a feud with the president.
“I look forward to working with the president in partnership and cooperation, but he has no fight here,” Cuomo said. “I won’t let it happen.”
Earlier, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio announced his city will soon have access to up to 100,000 coronavirus testing kits per week through market purchases and a homegrown supply chain. He said the city has managed to round up a “dependable” supply of tests.
“For the first time, we’re going to have a truly reliable major supply of testing,” de Blasio said.
Some 50,000 tests per week will be supplied by Aria Diagostics of Carmel, Ind., and 50,000 from a new manufacturing effort by local academic and commercial laboratories and manufacturers with 3D printers.
“New York City producers figured out a way make them right here,” de Blasio said, saying the effort should be a model for other areas with shortages.
The mayor appealed for help from labs and manufacturers from around the world, saying the new testing capability is still far below what’s needed in New York, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak.
City officials said hospital admissions Sunday, the latest day for which data is available, fell to 326. Intensive care unit admissions and the percentage of positive test results each rose slightly, de Blasio said.
Nearly 43,000 people are hospitalized in New York City, according to Johns Hopkins University.
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