The White House urged anyone who has been in New York to self-quarantine for 14 days to stop the spread of the coronavirus, which has become widespread in the city.
“You may have been exposed before you left New York,” Deborah Birx, the State Department doctor who is advising Vice President Mike Pence, said at a White House news conference on Tuesday. “Everybody who was in New York should be self-quarantining for the next 14 days to ensure that the virus doesn’t spread to others.”
Pence said the federal government was “surging resources” to the New York area, including 4,000 ventilators in the next 24 hours.
“We have to deal with the New York City metropolitan area as a high-risk area,” he said. “I want the people of New York City and greater New York to know that we’re with you.”
Earlier Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo lashed out at President Donald Trump for relying on corporations to fast-track the manufacture of life-saving ventilators.
“You can’t do this on a voluntary basis,” Cuomo said during a news conference at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, which is being converted into a temporary hospital. He warned that many victims of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, will die needlessly without ventilation.
“You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die,” he said.
Cuomo called on Trump to use his authority under the Cold War-era Defense Production Act to compel manufacturers to make ventilators and provide seed money to retrofit factories.
“Not to use that power is inexplicable to me,” he said. “It’s not anti-business. The businesses would welcome it. I speak to the businesses, you know what they say? ‘I’ll do it, but I need startup capital.’”