Americans are stepping up to the plate, answering the call for help after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) issued a desperate plea for his state. New York continues to be the country's epicenter with nearly 70,000 cases – more than a third of the total amount of cases in the country.
Gov. Cuomo says his state is seeing a tremendous response to his request for medical volunteers.
"I am asking health care professionals across the country if you don't have a health care crisis in your community. Please come help us in New York now," Cuomo reiterated in a press conference Monday. "We need relief. We need relief for nurses who are working 12-hour shifts, one after the other. We need relief for doctors. We need relief for attendants. So if you're not busy, come help us, please. And we will return the favor. We will return the favor."
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Two New York City nurses have died from COVID-19 while hundreds of others have become infected as they care for patients in the state that's seen more than 1,000 deaths already.
Even the governor's own brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo has reportedly been infected with the virus.
Despite the risk, today Gov. Cuomo shared the good news that tens of thousands of medical volunteers are stepping up to help anyway.
"We put out a request a couple of days ago to ask (medical) retirees to come forward, we have now about 78,000 people who said that they would help," said Cuomo Tuesday. "God bless the state of New York and God bless humanity."
Delta, Jetblue and Southwest Airlines are offering free flights to healthcare professionals willing to travel to New York.
More than a dozen healthcare professionals from Atlanta answered the call to serve in New York this past Friday. Thank you to the first responders, medical professionals, healthcare workers, and anyone else on the front lines today and every day keeping us safe. #SouthwestHeart pic.twitter.com/nI2gk5fUEh
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) March 30, 2020
And luxury hotels in New York City like the Four Seasons, The Plaza, and the St. Regis are providing medical professionals with free rooms to stay in so they don't have to go home and potentially expose their families to the dangerous virus.
The Four Seasons Hotel on 57th Street will provide FREE lodging to doctors, nurses & medical personnel currently working to respond to the #COVID19 pandemic.
Thank you @FourSeasons.
The first of many hotels we hope will make their rooms available.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 25, 2020
Other major cities like Detroit, MI, are following New York's lead in converting convention centers into hospitals.
This week Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., joined the growing list of 37 states now under "stay at home" orders.
"Everyone in Virginia must remain in their place of residence unless they must go out for food, supplies, work, medical care or to get fresh air or exercise," Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) declared Monday.
Virginia's Medical Reserve Corp has seen hundreds of volunteers respond to Gov. Northam's request for more volunteers as the state prepares for its own surge in coronavirus cases.