How Governor Cuomo is Handling COVID-19 in New York

How+Governor+Cuomo+is+Handling+COVID-19+in+New+York

Tiffany Zhu, Staff Writer

New York currently has 7,845 confirmed COVID-19 cases, accounting for almost half of all U.S. cases. In an attempt to control the situation, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an edict ordering all nonessential businesses to keep their employees home. Essential businesses that can stay open include banks, grocery stores, gas stations, laundromats, healthcare providers, etc. Although the state government doesn’t plan to fine individuals who violate the mandate, businesses who violate the order will be fined and forced to close. 

Gov. Cuomo’s executive order encouraged healthy people under 70 to limit outdoor activity to getting groceries and medicine. They are allowed to participate in all non-contact physical activities if they stay six feet away from others.  Although public transit will continue operating, people should not use it unless they absolutely must. Roads will remain open. All nonessential gatherings are banned. 

Stronger restrictions for people who are 70 and older or have compromised immune systems or underlying illnesses have been put in place. These rules include wearing masks when in the company of others and not visiting households with multiple people.

Due to the surge in cases, hospitals have reached a crisis point. Doctors working in Bronx hospitals only have a few ventilators remaining for patients who need them to breathe because of a medical equipment shortage. In Brooklyn, doctors are reusing masks for up to a week and disinfecting them with hand sanitizer. To address this problem, Gov. Cuomo announced that he would provide financial incentive to businesses for manufacturing protective wear such as masks and gloves.          

Although President Donald Trump praised Gov. Cuomo for the action he is taking, he denied a need for a nationwide lockdown and claimed that other parts of the country don’t face the same issues as hotbeds such as New York. 

“You go out to the Midwest, you go out to other locations, they’re watching on television but they don’t have the same problems. They don’t have, by any means, the same problems,” President Trump said.

In an attempt to soften the toll on the economy, the Trump administration asked Congress for $500 billion for direct payments for taxpayers and $500 billion for loans to businesses. The shortage of medical supplies prompted President Trump to invoke his wartime powers, which will allow the government to push for a faster production for medical supplies. As of Mar. 19, the borders with Canada and Mexico are closed to nonessential travelers.  

 

Photo courtesy of THEHILL.COM