New York's governor put out an urgent plea for medical volunteers and a Navy hospital ship pulled into port on Monday as coronavirus deaths in the city mounted and hospitals buckled in what authorities say could be a preview of what other communities across the US could soon face.
“Please come help us in New York now. We need relief,” Governor Andrew Cuomo pleaded as the number of dead in New York State climbed past 1,200, with most of those victims dying in New York City.
He added: "Whether it's Detroit, it's New Orleans, it will work its way across the country.”
A US Navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds arrived in port in New York to help relieve the crisis gripping the city. The USNS Comfort - also sent to New York City after 9/11 - will be used to treat non-coronavirus patients while packed hospitals deal with those with Covid-19.
Also, nurses and other medical professionals who have volunteered to help have begun arriving.
“Anyone who says this situation is a New York City-only situation is in a state of denial. You see this virus move across the state, you see this virus move across the nation. There is no American who is immune to this virus," Cuomo said.
As he announced the latest death toll, he said: "That's a lot of loss, that's a lot of pain, that's a lot of tears, that's a lot of grief that people all across this state are feeling.”
Three-quarters of a million people around the world have become infected and over 35,000 have died, according to a running count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
The US reported over 140,000 infections and more than 2,500 deaths, with New York City the nation's worst hot spot, but New Orleans, Detroit and other cities are also seeing alarming clusters.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the US government's top infectious-disease expert, warned that smaller cities are about to see cases “take off” the way they have in New York City.
“What we’ve learned from painful experience with this outbreak is that it goes along almost on a straight line, then a little acceleration, acceleration, then it goes way up," he said on ABC's "Good Morning America." (AP)
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