Topline: New York City now has nearly 15,000 reported cases of COVID-19, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a Tuesday press conference, accounting for one-third of all cases in the country, a crisis he said made it unthinkable that life would resume normally by April.
- 131 New Yorkers have died from the disease, he said.
- De Blasio pushed back against President Donald Trump’s assertion that life will be back to normal by Easter; “People deserve the honest truth,” he said.
- New York City will get about 2,000 ventilators from the federal government; de Blasio said the city needs 15,000.
- Queens has more than 4,000 cases, the most of any borough; Staten Island had the least at less than 1,000.
- As the conditions on Rikers Island deteriorate, de Blasio said the city would release approximately 300 inmates who were convicted of misdemeanors or non-violent felonies with less than a year on their sentences.
Key background: As New York City becomes the coronavirus epicenter for the country, Cuomo and de Blasio have called on the federal government for help. The state and city needs far greater capacity for critical patients, they have said, as the Javits Center has been turned into a makeshift hospital. Earlier today, Cuomo said current efforts were not enough. “What are we going to do with 400 ventilators when we need 30,000?” he said at a press conference.
Tangent: Mayor de Blasio paid tribute to Terrence McNally, the celebrated playwright who died from coronavirus complications earlier today at the age of 81. He was “someone who worked for a better New York City and a Better America for everyone.”