N.Y. reports 114 coronavirus deaths as governors call for federal help

New York National Guard members collect samples from drivers at the drive-through COVID-19 Mobile Testing Center located at the South Beach Behavioral Center in Staten Island, N.Y., on Thursday. Photo by Maj. Patrick Cordova/U.S. Air National Guard

March 22 (UPI) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday said 114 people in his state have died from COVID-19, and he called on the federal government to provide more resources.

There have been 15,168 confirmed cases of the virus in New York — around half of the cases in the United States — and President Donald Trump on Saturday approved a major disaster declaration for the state, which he called an “unprecedented” federal response.

Cuomo on Sunday condemned large groups of people gathering in the city after he ordered a shutdown of all non-essential businesses throughout the state set to take effect at 8 p.m. Sunday.

“This is just a mistake. It’s a mistake. It’s insensitive. It’s arrogant. It’s self-destructive. It’s disrespectful to other people. And it has to stop and it has to stop now. This is not a joke. And I am not kidding,” he said.

Cuomo said that New York didn’t receive funding from the first coronavirus bill, despite the state having “the greatest need,” calling it a “technical mistake” in the way the legislation was written.

In the United States, there have been 31,017 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 390 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University as of Sunday afternoon. The number of deaths include Guam, Puerto Rico and one from a cruise ship that was docked in Japan under quarantine.

New York and Washington state, with 94 deaths, comprise 53 percent of the deaths. California, which is banning non-essential businesses in the state like New York, is in third with 28 deaths.

Also with “stay-at-home” orders are Connecticut (5 deaths), Illinois (6), Louisiana (20), Nevada (2), New Jersey (126), Ohio (3) and Pennsylvania (3). Other states have also banned dining at restaurants along with other restrictions, include Georgia with 23 deaths and Florida with 13.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called for federal officials to give states more COVID-19 test kits, protective equipment such as masks and gloves and “clear, directive guidance” saying that lives will be lost because the country was not prepared for the outbreak. The state reported eight deaths.

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“Had the federal government really started focusing when it became clear that the whole world was going to be confronting this, we would be in a stronger position right now,” she told ABC News This Week.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker told CNN’s State of the Union that states have been forced to compete for medical supplies during the outbreak.

“We’re competing against each other,” said Priztker, whose state reported six deaths. “We’re competing against other countries. You know, it’s a wild west, I would say, out there. And indeed, we’re overpaying, I would say … because of that competition. This should have been a coordinated effort by the federal government.”

In a tweet on Sunday explicitly mentioning Pritzker, Trump said states and the media should not blame the federal government “for their own shortcomings.”

“We are there to back you up should you fail and always will be,” he wrote.

Trump also announced that U.S. automakers have been approved to begin making ventilators, as governors of several states have criticized the federal government for a lack of assistance in coronavirus response.

“Ford, General Motors and Tesla are being given the go-ahead to make ventilators and other metal products, FAST!” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Go for it auto execs, let’s see how good you are?”

As the number of cases continues to rise more states and cities have implemented measures to limit contact in order to slow the spread of the virus.

Nashville Mayor John Cooper issued a 14-day “safe at home order” limiting gathering to 10 people, closing all non-essential businesses and ordering restaurants to only provide delivery, drive-thru or takeout service. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee later issued a statewide order implementing similar restrictions on gatherings and restaurants while closing gyms and other fitness facilities until April 6.

There was one death reported in the state.

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