As coronavirus deaths in the US top 10,000, the country braces for its worst week yet. With new hot spots popping up around the country, experts warn it's going to be a shocking and bad week. But in New York, where the death toll exceeded 4,000 this weekend, there is a glimmer of hope.
"The number of deaths over the past few days has been dropping for the first time. What is the significance of that? It's too early to tell," reported Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY).
Cuomo says it's still unclear if deaths will continue to decrease, and FEMA is warning that all New York City hospitals are expected to be at or near-total capacity this week.
"The system is overcapacity, all across the board. It is just overcapacity," continued Cuomo. "You are asking a system to do more than it has ever done before, more than it was designed to do, with less."
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As hospitals in New York reach their capacity, Cuomo has asked the federal government to allow the US Navy Ship Comfort to treat COVID19 patients. Since arriving in New York last week, the 1,000-bed hospital ship has been used to treat non-coronavirus cases, but Cuomo says with fewer accidents and crime there is a huge need for non-COVID treatments.
"We don't need the Comfort for non-COVID patients, we need it for COVID. If we had those two facilities as a relief valve that would make a significant difference," said Cuomo.
President Trump expressed openness to the idea in a press conference Sunday.
"If we need it for the virus, we will be using it for that," said Trump fo the Comfort. "They'd prefer not, for obvious reasons, but if for any reason they need it, it's ready, willing, and able."
The other relief facility Cuomo referred to is the 2,500-bed hospital set up inside the Javits Convention Center. This facility was also originally designated for non-COVID19 patients as well, but President Trump approved Cuomo's earlier request to treat those infected with the virus in the massive convention center. Over the weekend, Trump ordered 1,000 medical military personnel to help run the Javits Center hospital.
"The cavalry has come. God bless you all. Thank you, thank you very much I applaud you all," said New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio as additional help arrived at the Javits Center.
Samaritan's Purse is also treating coronavirus patients in their two emergency field hospitals in New York and Italy, where their staff dedicated their work to the Lord before patients flooded in.
Prayer is an important part of our medical relief work in New York City. Our staff took time to pray throughout our mobile hospital before patients began arriving. https://t.co/qkDcVCcECg pic.twitter.com/N6Rn2GcV1N
— Samaritan's Purse (@SamaritansPurse) April 4, 2020
"What you'll see is all of our staff right now just praying over each bed," said a staffer inside the New York medical tent in a video posted to Twitter.
As the nation braces for the peak of the virus - President Trump tweeted there is light at the end of the tunnel.
LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 6, 2020
And in more good news from New York, 75% of those hospitalized have been discharged. They include Christina Paz – a mother of five, who received a hero's send-off shown in this video of her leaving Staten Island University Hospital after a 15 day battle with the virus.
While churches prepare for very different Easter celebrations, a Louisiana pastor arrested last weekend for holding services despite a statewide ban on gatherings of ten or more held them again on Palm Sunday. Hundreds of parishioners showed up for church in the state with the highest COVID-19 death rate in the country.
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