New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday the rate of coronavirus cases in New York state is doubling every three days and compared the outbreak to a “bullet train.”
“We’re not slowing it, and it’s increasing on its own,” Cuomo said during a press briefing. “One of the forecasters said to me, We were looking at a freight train coming across the country. We’re now looking at a bullet train, because the numbers are going up that quickly.”
Cuomo’s comments come as coronavirus cases continue to soar in New York, making it the state with the most confirmed cases. According to a Johns Hopkins University tracker, New York has at least 23,230 cases and over 183 deaths.
During the briefing, Cuomo also noted that the increased rate of infections correlates with an increase in the projected hospital beds needed.
“We have projected the apex at about 110,000 hospital beds. The new projection suggests that the number of hospital beds needed could be as high as 140,000,” Cuomo said. “We haven’t flattened the curve, and the curve is actually increasing. That means the number of hospital beds, which is at 53,000 beds and 3,000 intensive care unit beds. The anticipated need now for the highest of the curve is 140,000 hospital beds and approximately 40,000 intensive care unit beds.”
Cuomo added that forecasters have told him that the apex of the curve could be 14 to 21 days away.
While the increasing number of cases in New York may be frightening, it stems from an increase in testing in the state, which Cuomo called “the highest level in the U.S.”
“We have increased testing to the highest level in the U.S. and the highest per capita level on the globe,” he said. “No one is testing more than we are testing.”
Cuomo also spoke about the need for at least 30,000 ventilators in New York and criticized the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for saying it would send 400 ventilators.
“FEMA is sending us 400 ventilators,” Cuomo said. “Four hundred ventilators? I need 30,000 ventilators. You want a pat on the pack for sending 400 ventilators? What are we going to do with 400 ventilators when we need 30,000 ventilators? You’re missing the magnitude of the problem, and the problem is defined by the magnitude.”
Throughout the nation, there are at least 46,548 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, which causes the respiratory disease COVID-19. The virus has caused 592 deaths across the country, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker.