April 21 (UPI) — Ahead of a trip to Washington, D.C., Tuesday to meet with President Donald Trump at the White House, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reported fewer than 500 deaths in the state for the fifth straight day.
At his daily briefing, this time in Buffalo, N.Y., Cuomo said coronavirus deaths, hospitalizations and other indicators in his state are flat or declining. He said the latest single-day death toll, Monday’s, was 481. To date, there have been 14,347 COVID-19 deaths in New York state.
Cuomo said new hospitalizations fell for the eighth day in a row, to around 1,300 — the lowest in three weeks. The total number of those in a hospital also fell.
“The current question now … is how long is the descent and how steep is the descent?” he asked. “That’s what we are trying to figure out.”
Cuomo stopped in Buffalo en route to Washington for the meeting with Trump, set for Tuesday afternoon. The two have been at odds on multiple occasion in recent weeks.
A Democrat, Cuomo has criticized the federal response to the crisis as chaotic and disorganized and bemoaned the lack of medical equipment and supplies. Other times, he’s thanked Trump for intervening in New York’s behalf.
Trump has attacked Cuomo and made conciliatory comments. At his daily briefing on Monday, the president played edited video clips of Cuomo that were complimentary of Trump’s efforts.
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The two are expected to discuss Tuesday how to expand coronavirus testing, which many experts say is vital to reopening businesses and economies and relaxing restrictions like social distancing.
Nationally, the coronavirus death toll approached 43,000 Tuesday and the caseload close to 800,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. The school also has noted nearly 74,000 recoveries.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday lack of consistent federal help has led him to create the city’s own stockpile of medical equipment.
“We have watched in the last few weeks that when we called for our federal government to help us, sometimes they responded, sometimes they didn’t,” he said. “We’re not going to be fooled again.”
The new reserve will include 3,000 “bridge” ventilators from Boyce Technologies in Long Island City, N.Y., he said.
De Blasio also promised that New York City will stage one of its famous ticker-tape parades for front-line health workers once life returns to normal.
“We will honor those who saved us,” he said.