Read our guide to understanding New York on PAUSE, NY's stay-at-home order; a look at preparing for the spread of coronavirus is here, and if you have lingering questions about the virus, here is our regularly updated coronavirus FAQ. Here are some local and state hotlines for more information: NYC: 311; NY State Hotline: 888-364-3065; NJ State Hotline: 800-222-1222.
1 p.m. Governor Andrew Cuomo lashed out at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for opposing federal funding for states like New York that have seen their budgets decimated by the coronavirus pandemic.
New York is among the states anxiously waiting to see if Congress will approve funding for states in the next round of stimulus relief. Cuomo has said the state is projecting between $10 billion to $15 billion in lost tax revenues.
"Not to fund state and local government is incredibly shortsighted," Cuomo said during his daily press briefing on Thursday. "How do you not fund police and fire and teachers and schools in the midst of this crisis?"
He added: "You will see a collapse of this national economy. So just dumb."
On Wednesday, the Republican from Kentucky said in an interview with a conservative radio host that he's be in favor of allowing states to go bankrupt.
"My guess is their first choice would be for the federal government to borrow money from future generations to send it down to them now so they don’t have to do that," McConnell said. "That’s not something I’m going to be in favor of."
In an earlier interview, he said, “We’re not interested in solving their pension problems for them, we’re not interested in rescuing them from bad decisions they’ve made in the past."
McConnell's office also issued two press releases referring to the coronavirus funding requests as “blue state bailouts.”
President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has indicated that he is open to addressing lost revenues for states hurt by coronavirus.
Beside New York, California and Illinois, two other heavily Democratic states, have also experienced large outbreaks.
Cuomo called McConnell's "blue states" remark "vicious."
"Don’t help New York state because it is a Democratic state. How ugly a thought," he said. "Just think of what he's saying...15,000 people died but they were predominately Democrats so why should we help them?"
He added: "If there was every a time for humanity and decency, now is the time."
The governor also argued that New York pays $116 billion more to the federal government in personal and corporate taxes than it receives in federal subsidies compared to Kentucky, which he said winds up receiving $148 billion more than it puts into the federal coffers. The assertion is backed up by a 2019 report from the Rockefeller Institute of Government which found that New York’s residents and businesses "continue to contribute more in taxes than the state receives back in Federal spending."
De Blasio Says 2 Million New Yorkers Could Become Food Insecure Due To Pandemic
11 a.m. Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday that he expects that two million New Yorkers could become food insecure as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Prior to the crisis, 1.2 million New Yorkers were described as food insecure.
"It's a painful reality," de Blasio said during his daily press briefing.
Since March 16th, the city has distributed more than 4.5 million free meals.
In the month of April alone the city expects to serve 10 million meals. The mayor now projected that the number would rise to 15 million in May.
All told, the city plans to spend $170 million to feed vulnerable New Yorkers. De Blasio said funding would be provided by the federal government.
With Thursday evening marking the beginning of Ramadan, the holiest month on the Islamic calendar, the mayor announced the introduction of Halal meals as part of the city's free grab-and-go food service. Approximately 400,000 Halal meals will be made available at 32 Department of Education sites in neighborhoods identified as high need.
As of Thursday morning, the DOE's website did not yet indicate which sites would be serving Halal meals.
“One of Ramadan’s most noble callings is to feed the hungry,” de Blasio said.
Another 4.4 Million People File Jobless Claims, Including 205,000 New Yorkers
The coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate the United States economy, as another 4.4 million workers filed for unemployment benefits last week.
That means that five weeks into the crisis, more than 26 million people are now without a job, an unprecedented number. By comparison, about 9 million people lost their jobs over the course of the 2007-2009 recession.
Here in New York, 205,000 people filed jobless claims, 190,000 fewer than the prior week.
All told, 1.4 million New Yorkers have reported losing their jobs over the last five weeks.
The surge of unemployment claims has overwhelmed the state Department of Labor. Amid complaints from New Yorkers, the agency has added nearly 3,000 additional workers to process claims and also introduced a new streamlined application with the help of Google. The governor's office said that a backlog of 275,000 partially completed applications identified on April 8th had been reduced to 4,305 by Monday.
New Study On NYC COVID-19 Patients Shows That 88 Percent Of Those On Ventilators Died
A new study of coronavirus patients in a New York City hospital system showed that 88 percent of those who were put on ventilators died, higher than previously expected.
Typically, 80 percent of people on ventilators do not survive, a number that Governor Andrew Cuomo had frequently cited during his press briefings. Early on, some doctors had optimistically projected that a COVID-19 patient put on a ventilator would have a 50 percent of surviving.
Research published in the journal JAMA looked at 5,700 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 within the Northwell hospital system in the New York City area, including Long Island and Westchester. A total of 320, or 12.2 percent, received invasive mechanical ventilation.
It represents the largest known study in the U.S. of coronavirus patients.
Of the patients in the study, 21 percent died. Among those who died, 57 percent had hypertension, 41 percent were obese and 34 percent had diabetes.
"Older persons, men, and those with pre-existing hypertension and/or diabetes were highly prevalent in this case series and the pattern was similar to data reported from China," researchers concluded.