NEW YORK - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday predicted that the state won't be able to "flatten the curve" enough to prevent the health-care system from becoming overloaded from cases of the coronavirus.
He pleaded for the federal government to dispatch the Army Corps of Engineers to convert college dormitories, armories, and other suitable spaces into make-shift hospitals as he did in a New York Times op-ed on Sunday. That way when the state's 53,000 hospital-beds and 3,000 ICU beds reach capacity, New York state can send the overflow to pop-up facilities.
"I think of a wave and the wave is going to break and the wave is going to break on the hospital system," Cuomo said. "Expanding the capacity of the health care system for a state is virtually impossible."
The governor said the federal government needs to help.
The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump told a group of governors on Monday to try buying expensive and scarce medical equipment like ventilators themselves instead of relying on the federal government's medical emergency stock. He then tweeted: "Just had a very good tele-conference with Nation's Governors. Went very well. Cuomo of New York has to 'do more'."
Cuomo responded: "I have to do more? No—YOU have to do something! You're supposed to be the President." He then added: "Happy to do your job too. Just give me control of the Army Corps of Engineers and I'll take it from there."
"We will do everything we can but we need federal assets and we need federal assistance," Cuomo said Monday.