Remote Locale Is Not Safe Harbor From Virus, Cuomo Warns

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, left, speaks with his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo in his home basement, during the governor’s news conference Thursday in Albany, N.Y. (Office of the Governor via AP)

(CN) — Calling New York a microcosm of the rest of the country, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that people who live in rural communities should not presume themselves safe from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is false comfort to say, ‘Well, we are a rural community, we don’t have the density of New York City,’” he said, emphasizing that there is now a case of Covid-19 in each of his state’s 62 counties. 

Considered the fourth most populous but only the 27th largest geographically, New York continues to lead the country with a crushing number of cases. Cuomo put the confirmed number at 92,381 across the state, as of Thursday.

Deaths in the state have reached 2,373, while 13,000 are currently hospitalized, nearly 3,400 are in intensive care units, and 7,434 have been discharged.

Long Island has seen an uptick in cases, Cuomo said, counting 10,587 in Nassau County and 8,746 in Suffolk County. New York City has 51,809 cases.

Delivering his daily address from the state capital in Albany, Cuomo estimated Thursday that, at the current burn rate, the state has enough stockpiled ventilators to get through the next six days. About 350 new people need a ventilator every night, he said. 

New Yorkers should expect the immediate crisis to last at least through August, Cuomo said, referring to another model, though a federal government response plan predicts the United States will be fighting the novel coronavirus for over 18 months. 

The otherwise sobering press conference Thursday included a few moments of levity as Cuomo’s brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, who tested positive for Covid-19 this week, joined via videochat from his basement and the brothers ribbed each other. 

“You look like you’ve been cutting your own hair — which some people are good at, some people are not,” said Chris Cuomo to the governor.

Chris also described a fever dream he’d had in which he said the governor had been wearing a “very interesting ballet outfit,” waving a wand and saying he wished this would all go away.

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