Mayor de Blasio on Friday again called for a “shelter in place” order requiring New Yorkers to stay home while blasting the feds for sending a “paltry” amount of medical provisions – including “a lot of expired supplies.”
“At the beginning of April we will run out of basic medical supplies because of the intense strain that’s being put already on our hospitals by this crisis,” de Blasio said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “We have to, not only in New York but in many parts of the country, we have to go to a shelter in place model.”
Gov. Cuomo has so far resisted ordering residents to “shelter in place” – and stressed the state would have to approve a mandate like that for the city or any New York municipality. Cuomo said Tuesday he has “no interest whatsoever and no plan whatsoever to quarantine any city.”De Blasio said he respects Cuomo’s handling of the crisis – but that ordering residents to stay home like California did Thursday night was a “recognition of a necessity.”
“The last thing we want is panic…with this crisis so deep already, the fear is pervasive and honest,” the mayor said. “To save lives and really try to slow down this horrible trajectory of this disease, shelter in place, or whatever word you want to use for it, it is a smart strategy.”
The city had 3,954 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Thursday morning – with 26 people dying from COVID-19 so far. The five boroughs now account for about 30% of all coronavirus cases in the U.S. and 70% of those in New York state, de Blasio said on Friday.
De Blasio said requiring city residents to stay home – apart from essential work or errands to grocery stores and pharmacies – would help stop the spread of the potentially deadly virus and reduce strain on the city’s healthcare system.
“You give your hospitals a chance to prepare, a chance to deal with the massive incoming,” he said.
This week de Blasio asked the feds for 15,000 ventilators, 3 million special N95 face masks, 50 million surgical masks and 25 million each of surgical gowns, coveralls, gloves and face masks. The masks are needed for first responders as well as medical personnel.