Get a grip, Bill! Cuomo blasts ‘panic and fear’ being created by calls for a total NYC lockdown to fight coronavirus in veiled attack on De Blasio – but says a huge hospital ship will be sent to the city

  • Cuomo, who would make the final call on a lockdown, said ‘The fear is a bigger problem than the virus’
  • The governor called decision to bring a ‘floating hospital’ to New York City harbor an ‘extraordinary step’
  • He also warned the state needs to increase its hospital bed capacity by 50,000 in the coming weeks
  • The mayor said Wednesday he would be talking with Cuomo later in the day about a shelter in place order 
  • Cuomo has said there will be no shelter in place; de Blasio warned 8 million New Yorkers to be prepared for it 
  • NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed that as of Tuesday evening there are 923 COVID-19 cases in the city  
  • The back-and-forth between the two officials has left New Yorkers confused as many rush to grocery stores
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

New York City will not be shutting down, governor Andrew Cuomo said today as he criticized the ‘panic and fear’ being created by calls for a total lockdown to fight coronavirus. 

HOW CORONAVIRUS CASES IN NYC HAVE SOARED 

March 1 – One case (This was Westchester lawyer, counted as NY case)

March 4 – 3

March 5 – 5

March 7 – 12

March 9 – 20

March 10 – 36

March 11 – 53

March 12 – 95

March 13 – 154

March 14 – 183

March 15 – 329

March 16 – 463

March 17 – 814

March 18 – 1339 

The governor announced Wednesday a hospital ship, The Comfort, will be sent to New York city while ordering employers to keep 50 per cent of their workers at home.

But in a veiled attack on Mayor Bill de Blasio he also blasted the ‘panic and fear’ being created by calls for a total NYC lockdown. 

The mayor had said Wednesday he would be talking with Cuomo later in the day. Asked on the Today show if he will recommend a shelter in place order, de Blasio said: ‘I am almost at that point, I have to say, it has to be considered seriously.’ 

But Cuomo, who would make the final call on a lockdown, said in a press conference Wednesday morning: ‘The fear, the panic is a bigger problem than the virus’.

The back-and-forth between the two officials has left some New York residents shaken and confused as many rush to grocery stores to stock up on necessities just 24 hours after bars and restaurants were restricted to takeout and delivery options only.  

Explaining his decision not to put the city on lockdown Cuomo added: ‘I don’t believe any policy works unless the geographic footprint is large enough. It can’t just be New York City.

‘Also shelter in place, you close down your health care system, you close down your food system, you close down your transportation system . And you close down businesses. That doesn’t make sense to me because people need to eat travel etc.’

‘Doing it this way, all work forces 50 per cent excluding social services, we’ll see if that slows the spread. If it doesn’t slow the spread we will reduce the number of workers even further.’  

 He added: ‘This is a public health crisis, but more than that I’m telling you worse than the virus is the fear that we’re dealing with.

‘The rumors and how they spread, that I’m going to be quarantined in my house, I’m going to be locked down, I better stock up on groceries. That’s not going to happen, take a deep breath. We know what is going to happen here. People will get ill, they will resolve, people who are vulnerable we have to be more careful.

‘The panic and the fear is wholly disconnected from the reality.’ 

Gov. Cuomo also said Wednesday he had ‘very good dialogue with President Donald Trump, telling reporters: ‘We are fighting the same war, this is a war, we are in the same trench.’   

As of Wednesday morning, 2,382 people had tested positive in New York State, up more than 800 since Tuesday. In New York City cases went up from 814 on Tuesday to 1,339 people testing positive by Wednesday.  

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo  spoke Wednesday regarding coronavirus at 11:30am

Mayor Bill de Blasio, pictured on the Today show Wednesday, is still pushing for a shelter in place order in New York City despite push back from Governor Andrew Cuomo

The hospital ship USNS Comfort will come to help New York City, Cuomo said Wednesday 

Cuomo added: ‘All of the restrictions are statewide, they will track the trajectory of the disease. If we get that spread down, and we can handle it in the healthcare system we’ll relax them as soon as possible.

‘Past data – China, South Korea – shows if you take dramatic action sooner then you recover sooner.’ 

Cuomo had already contradicted the NYC mayor Tuesday evening, saying there will be no shelter in place order issued. Hours earlier de Blasio warned 8 million New Yorkers to be prepared for it.

‘We’ve lost 10 people already it’s increasing in a way, I don’t even think our leaders in Washington begin to understand this but here in New York, we have the most cases of any state in the country’, de Blasio said Wednesday morning.

‘So what I was saying to people is get ready for the possibility. It’s a decision we would only make with the state of New York, of course. But people have to realize at this point that this disease is going to put many, many people, thousands and tens of thousands of people’s lives in danger.’ 

Cuomo called decision to bring 1,000 bed military ‘floating hospital’ The Comfort to New York City harbor an ‘extraordinary step’. He warned the state needs to increase its hospital bed capacity by 50,000 in the coming weeks. 

The USNS Comfort came to New York City in the days after September 11 2001, terrorist attacks. It’s not clear when it would arrive.  

A patient wears a protective face mask as she is loaded into an ambulance at The Brooklyn Hospital Center emergency room, Wednesday

View of the Oculus transportation hub and shopping mall on March 18

A woman wearing a protective mask and gloves collects pre-bagged food donations at a City Harvest’s Bed-Stuy Mobile Market operating in the Tomkins Houses area, Wednesday 

Cuomo’s team had already released a statement on the New York State’s website in response to a possible shelter in place order.  

‘The emergency policies that have been issued are of statewide impact, and the Governor is making every effort to coordinate these policies with our surrounding states. 

‘Any blanket quarantine or shelter in place policy would require State action and as the Governor has said, there is no consideration of that for any locality at this time,’ the statement reads.  

As the back and forth continued de Blasio said Tuesday that he would make a decision on whether to shut the city down entirely in the next 48 hours. 

‘New Yorkers should be prepared right now for the possibility of a shelter in place order. That has not happened yet but it is a possibility. That decision will be made in the next 48 hours,’ he said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

He also signed an executive order to ban shared Ubers, Lyfts and other ride-shares. 

They are now limited to one person per car unless the two passengers are a couple, and de Blasio said he was going to be firm on the two passengers being a ‘real’ couple.   

De Blasio said Wednesday: ‘People have to realize at this point that this disease is going to put many, many people, thousands and tens of thousands of people’s lives in danger.

‘We’re going to have to do things very differently and if we even get to shelter-in-place, we’re going to have to come up with huge new approaches to make sure people have enough food and medicine because they sure as hell don’t have income right now.

‘Washington is going to have to get real if there’s unemployment, we need a massive federal relief program that looks like the great depression so people are whole economically so they will have money for food or medicine. That’s what I fear. 

‘Right now we’re in the midst of a crisis we have not seen for generations, Savannah, and yet the American military is being sidelined when they should be given the chance to get in this game and help us all.’ 

There are now more than 6,000 cases of coronavirus in America and more than 100 have died

Cuomo said healthcare experts have told him the virus is going to peak in New York in 45 days. 

Then, he anticipated needing between 55,000 and 110,000 hospital beds, along 18,600 and 37, 200 ICU beds. At the moment, the state only has 53,000 beds and 3,000 ICU beds.  

De Blasio appeared on CNN on Tuesday morning and was asked whether city officials would follow San Francisco’s lead in implementing the order, which would allow New Yorkers to leave their home only for food, medicine and exercise.

‘We’re absolutely considering that,’ the mayor said. ‘We’re going to look at all other options, but it could get to that for sure for the whole country.’ 

San Francisco announced it’s version of shelter in place on Monday – preventing people from leaving their homes except for necessities for the next three weeks.

‘This is an extraordinary time in our nation’s history. This will go down in the history books as one of those moments of true crisis and confusion and chaos. 

‘I lived through 9/11. I remember the fear and the panic that existed in 9/11 when a single moment, your whole concept of life and society can be shaken. 

‘Where you need to see government perform at its best. You need to see people at their best. Everybody’s afraid, everybody’s nervous. How you respond, how you react. This is a character test for all of us. 

Cuomo has urged people, especially families, to get out of the house and take their children to state parks – where all fees have been waived to allow more visitors during the crisis. 

He said it was safe to be out in the open. 

Cuomo went on to say he too was feeling the strain of not being able to have physical contact with the people he loved. 

‘There is something to this lack of ability to connect. Don’t hug. Don’t kiss. 

‘We are emotional beings. It is important for us, in times of fear or stress to feel connected to someone. To feel comforted by someone,’ he said. 

A pedestrian walks on Wall St., as concerns about coronavirus disease (COVID-19) keep more people at home, in front of the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday 

A workers disinfects the handrails on a commuter ferry in New York on Wednesday 

Across the city businesses, schools and places of work have been shutting down leading to empty streets and quiet neighborhoods. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has pushed calls for a ‘shelter-in-place’ order

There was no one at Time’s Square on Monday as people stayed at home and the city braced for shut down 

Cuomo added that it ‘breaks his heart’ that he cannot see his own daughter – who has not seen for two weeks. 

‘It frightens me to the core.’ 

He said he told his daughter when he spoke to her how heartbroken he was not to be able to hold her and kiss her, but he urged the public to push through and said it was only a short amount of time. 

‘Be a little bit more sensitive. Understand the stress. Understand the fear. Be a little bit more loving, compassionate, cooperative and we will get through this time.

‘We will lose people, yes. Like we lose people every year with the flu. We’re going to be challenged and tested, there’s going to be periods of chaos. 

‘We will learn from it and be better prepared the next time because this is not the last time my friends. This has been a growing rate of health emergencies and storms. 

‘We’re going to get through it and we’re going to get through it together.’ 

Cuomo also spoke of the frantic scramble in trying to buy ventilators. 

‘China bought all the ventilators then South Korea bought all the ventilators then Italy bought all the ventilators,’ he said. 

Trump insisted on Tuesday that he had ordered ventilators and medical supplies but it is unclear where from. 

CORONAVIRUS SHUTDOWNS IN THE UNITED STATES

ALABAMA

Alabama health officials on Tuesday ordered the closure of day cares, senior centers and on-site restaurant dining in six counties to contain the coronavirus outbreak. 

The order from the Alabama Department of Public Health applies to Jefferson County, which has the highest number of cases, and the surrounding counties of Tuscaloosa, Walker, Blount, St. Clair and Shelby.

Public gatherings of more than 25 people banned across the state. 

All public schools closed until April 6.

Jefferson County Health Officer Mark Wilson said: ‘I know this has a big impact on our community. It’s quite restrictive.’

The Alabama Department of Public Health on Monday urged people statewide to avoid gatherings of more than 50 people, unless they can maintain a 6-foot distance between others, to limit spread of the new coronavirus. 

ALASKA

Anchorage – a ban on dine-in service from 5pm Monday until March 31.

Theaters, gyms and bingo halls closed through March 31.

The mayor of Anchorage signed the order Monday closing gyms and entertainment venues and barring restaurants, bars and other establishments from offering dine-in service to the public through the rest of March. 

PENNSYLVANIA 

All liquor stores and licensee service centers will close indefinitely at 9pm on Tuesday.

Gov Tom Wolf extended the shutdown to the entire state of Pennsylvania on Monday bar essential services.

LOUISIANA 

All bars, nightclubs, casinos, movie theaters, gyms and health clubs will be closed until April 13. Restaurants may open for take-out options only.

Governor John Bel Edwards said the new restrictions take effect Tuesday and will last until April 13.

Public gatherings of 50 people or more will be banned. No one will be allowed to eat onsite at a restaurant. 

In heavily Catholic New Orleans and in Baton Rouge, church leaders announced cancellation of masses until further notice. 

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has been postponed. 

CONNECTICUT 

Gatherings of more than 50 people banned.

Bars and restaurants shut indefinitely for dine-in customers.

Clubs, bars, cinemas, gyms shut indefinitely.

Hospitals across the state are restricting visitation, and some, including UConn Health in Farmington, have announced the indefinite postponement of elective surgeries. 

MASSACHUSETTS

Gatherings of more than 25 people banned.

Bars and restaurants to offer take-out only until April 7.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is shutting down construction sites across the city. Walsh also announced all branches of the Boston Public Library will close.

NEW JERSEY 

Curfew from 8pm – 5am; gatherings of more than 50 people banned; bars and restaurants shut indefinitely for dine-in customers, but can offer take-out.

Clubs, bars, cinemas and gyms shut indefinitely. 

New Jersey expanded coronavirus mitigation efforts, ordering indoor malls and amusement centers closed.

All public and private schools, colleges and universities are joining the list. 

The city of Hoboken on Tuesday also ordered its 55,000 residents to isolate at home for a week.

NEW YORK   

Gatherings of more than 50 people banned.

Bars and restaurants shut indefinitely for dine-in customers, but can offer take-out.

Clubs, bars, cinemas and gyms shut indefinitely.

Essential businesses such as supermarkets and gas stations will be able to stay open after 8 p.m. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he is ‘strongly encouraging’ nonessential businesses to close in New York after 8 p.m. 

New York City – Eateries could only accept takeout and delivery orders. Mayor Bill de Blasio also ordered nightclubs, movie theaters and other entertainment venues closed

New York City announced its public school district, the nation’s largest, will be closed starting Monday, joining most of the rest of the country

New Rochelle – one mile containment area set up 

ILLINOIS 

Bars and restaurants shut to dine-in customers until March 30

KENTUCKY 

Bars and restaurants shut to dine-in customers until March 30. 

The Democratic governors of Connecticut, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Washington on Monday all ordered the full or partial closure of certain categories of businesses. 

OHIO 

Bars and restaurants shut to dine-in customers, but can offer take-out.

Ohio marked St. Patrick’s Day on Tuesday with no parades and no primary election over fears of the coronavirus. Health Director Dr. Amy Acton issued an order late Monday shutting down polls Tuesday. 

Youngstown State University and Capital University in Columbus were among those announcing the cancellation of May commencement ceremonies, saying they couldn’t comply with restrictions severely limiting the size of gatherings. 

Ohio’s Roman Catholic bishops suspended all publicly celebrated Masses through Easter on April 12, extending an earlier suspension of services through Palm Sunday one week earlier. 

OKLAHOMA 

Public schools closed at least until April 6.

Oklahoma’s governor declared a statewide emergency Sunday evening.

The Oklahoma Legislature approved sweeping changes to the state’s Open Meeting Act on Tuesday to allow government bodies to meet via teleconference. 

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum and Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt both ordered the immediate shutdown of bars, while restaurants can serve only take-out orders. Similar measures were also imposed in Stillwater and Norman, including orders that theaters, gyms and amusement facilities must also close.

Officials with the Remington Park horse track in Oklahoma City said it was closing to the general public and races would be held without spectators.

The archbishop of Oklahoma City announced Tuesday that all public masses and liturgies at Catholic churches in the archdiocese of Oklahoma City would be canceled through Easter Sunday, April 12. 

MICHIGAN 

Bars and restaurants shut to dine-in customers indefinitely, but can offer take-out. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has banned more than 50 people in a gathering at a time.

Whitmer issued a sweeping order Monday banning dine-in customers at restaurants and closing all bars, movie theaters, gyms and other sports facilities to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The measure was to last through March.

Besides those restrictions, all Michigan schools are closed. 

WASHINGTON 

Restaurants and bars ordered to shut temporarily.

Gatherings of more than 50 people banned for at least two weeks.  

MINNESOTA

Dine-in restaurants and bars ordered to shut through March 27 beginning Tuesday evening.

Gov. Tim Walz ordered bars and restaurants across Minnesota to temporarily close to customers who dine in. 

Delivery and curbside takeout services may continue to operate. The temporary closure also applies to other places of public amusement, including theaters, museums, fitness centers and community clubs. 

Affected businesses must close by 5 p.m. Tuesday. While the governor’s order runs through March 27, he said he’ll likely end up extending it. Supermarkets, pharmacies and other retailers are not affected. 

OREGON  

Gatherings of more than 25 people banned. 

Restaurants and bars allowed to offer take-out only.  

Gov. Kate Brown on Monday banned on-site consumption at bars and restaurants around the state for at least four weeks in a bid to slow the spread of the new coronavirus and said gatherings will be limited to 25 people or fewer.

Restaurants can still offer takeout or delivery, she said at a news conference. 

CALIFORNIA 

All bars advised to shut, restaurants cut occupancy by half and over 65s are told to self-quarantine.

San Francisco Residents are ordered to ‘shelter in place’ in five counties. Residents in the city are legally banned from leaving their homes for three weeks for non-essential reasons.

Disneyland closed to the public. 

Palm Springs orders residents to shelter in place

WASHINGTON D.C.

Restaurants, bars and clubs to shut down by 10pm Monday, with take-out and delivery still available until April 1.

Health clubs, spas, massage parlors and theaters to shut down.

MARYLAND

Bars and restaurants shut indefinitely for dine-in customers, but can offer take-ou.t

Clubs, bars, cinemas and gyms shut indefinitely.

FLORIDA 

In Florida, Walt Disney World and Universal-Orlando closed Sunday night for the rest of the month, joining their already closed California siblings.

Farther south, Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale closed their beaches, where thousands of college spring breakers flocked.

All bar and nightclubs are set to close. 

NEVADA  

Wynn Las Vegas and MGM Resorts to plan closures

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak says all public, private and charter K-12 schools in the state will be closed Monday until at least April 6 in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus

COLORADO

Restaurants closed to dine-in customers for the next 30 days

INDIANA  

Bars, nightclubs and restaurants closed for dine-in with and takeout allowed until the end of March

RHODE ISLAND 

All restaurants, bars, coffee shops shut down for dine in until March 30

Drive-thru and delivery services remain open 

VERMONT 

Bars and restaurants can only serve takeout from Tuesday night

ARIZONA

All schools closed through March 27.  

Restaurants will be limited to offering to-go service, and bars, theaters, fitness centers and indoor recreation facilities will be closed in Flagstaff under a proclamation issued by the city’s mayor over concerns about the spread of the new coronavirus.

The closures go into effect Tuesday at 8 p.m. in the mountainous city.  

ARKANSAS

All schools closed from Tuesday. 

Arkansas casinos are closing temporarily because of concerns about the coronavirus.

Arkansas’ largest city is imposing more restrictions, including a curfew, in an effort to curb the spread of the new coronavirus as the number infections in the state continues to rise.

Mayor Frank Scott said Monday that a curfew from midnight to 5 a.m. will be in effect in Little Rock beginning early Wednesday. 

DELAWARE 

All restaurants closed for dine-in, take out and delivery continues 

Bans on public gatherings of 50 or more people  

GEORGIA 

All public schools and universities closed 

HAWAII  

Ban on gatherings of more than 50 people on city property until April

City’s indoor venues for events and recreation close

Hanauma Bay is closed 

IDAHO 

Boise: State of emergency declared Monday, city buildings closed with the exception of the Boise Airport 

IOWA

Cedar Rapids: City buildings closed

Dozens of Iowa school districts are following the governor’s guidance and suspending classes for four weeks to stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

And after legislative leaders made a similar decision to suspend the legislative session, lawmakers began the process Monday of at least temporarily shutting down their work at the Capitol. 

KANSAS 

Kansas State University to teach remotely 

In Kansas, Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly on Monday banned public gatherings of 50 or more people for the next two months. 

MAINE 

Maine’s largest city, Portland, declared an emergency and adopted a curfew to prevent the spread of the virus on St. Patrick’s Day.

The curfew applies to establishments where groups gather all day Tuesday and from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. from Wednesday to Saturday.

 L.L. Bean is closing all of its retail stores across the country, including its flagship store in Freeport, Maine, to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

The North Haven Select Board voted Sunday to ban visitors and seasonal residents immediately to prevent the spread of the coronavirus to the Penobscot Bay island, where there have been no cases yet. 

MISSISSIPPI 

Casinos, public universities and school districts closed until further notice 

MISSOURI 

Restaurants, bars and movie theaters ordered shut for 15 days in Kansas City metro from Tuesday 

MONTANA 

Public schools closed for two weeks 

Billings, Missoula, Bozeman, Butte and Helena restrict restaurant openings 

NEBRASKA 

Omaha bars and restaurants limited to 10 and under patrons

NEW HAMPSHIRE 

Restaurants will be restricted to take-out, schools are shut down and large public gatherings are being banned in an effort to contain the coronavirus in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire’s directive, which extends until April 7, also will ban public gatherings of 50 people or more. 

Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and affiliated hospitals are no longer allowing visitors. 

NEW MEXICO 

Restaurants and bars to operate at 50 per cent capacity; tables must not seat more than six people, and must be separated by at least six feet.

 NORTH CAROLINA 

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is ordering all restaurants and bars be closed to dine-in patrons.

Cooper’s office announced he would issue a new executive order directing the closings effective at 5 p.m. Tuesday. The establishments can continue to offer takeout and delivery. 

NORTH DAKOTA 

 No mandated closing of restaurants and bars.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum issued an executive order closing schools across the state for one week beginning Monday. 

 PUERTO RICO 

Two-week closure for the majority of businesses; 9pm overnight curfew through March 30.

Puerto Rico Secretary of State Elmer Román said at a press conference on Monday that no one is allowed to go to the beach. 

On Sunday, Gov. Wanda Vázquez ordered a two-week closure of nonessential government offices and commercial businesses except for gas stations and those in the food, health and finance sectors. Puerto Rico also cancelled major events, including an Ironman race scheduled for this past weekend. 

SOUTH CAROLINA 

Charleston banned gatherings of more than 50 people outside of stores and private offices. 

Columbia restricted businesses to no more than half their legal occupancy and won’t allow more than six people to sit at a restaurant table. 

Schools closed from Monday 

SOUTH DAKOTA 

No current plans to close restaurants or bars.

 The governor signed a state of emergency order last week, requesting public schools to close and ordering non-essential state employees to work from home. 

South Dakota public universities announced on Monday that all classes will move online next week after an extended spring break. 

TENNESSEE 

 All bars closed in Nashville; restuarants ordered to operate at no more than 50 per cent capacity.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Monday asked schools to close, exhorted people to avoid crowded bars 

TEXAS 

Austin considering closing restaurants and bars 

SXSW canceled  

US VIRGIN ISLANDS 

State of emergency declared 

All public schools closed for at least three weeks from Wednesday  

UTAH 

Salt Lake City shuts restaurants to dine in customers and bars; take out continues  

VIRGINIA 

Gov. Ralph Northam bans public gatherings of more than 100 people 

WEST VIRGINIA 

So far, West Virginia has just one coronavirus case. 

WISCONSIN   

Bans on 50 people or more gatherings; bars and restaurants limiting customers 

WYOMING 

Dine in customers banned at restaurants and bars   

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