At a news conference rife with wartime references, the mayor said the city needs more boots on the ground to deal with the onslaught of COVID-19 patients who have yet to even arrive.
“Our military has not been brought into the fight in any way near the way they could be,” de Blasio said. “It’s time for the Commander-in-chief to give the order. We’re fighting a war.”
The five boroughs need 45,000 new medical personnel in traditional hospitals and in the makeshift medical centers like those that have popped up in Central Park and at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
De Blasio described Sunday as D-Day and said the city would see the numbers of dead and infected soar to unimaginable heights.
“It's not just one thing we need at this point,” de Blasio said. We have to pull together all the pieces. Possibly the toughest part of this equation is the personnel.”
The mayor’s call for fresh troops was delivered along with his daily plea for more ventilators to help patients with breathing problems brought on by the virus, and more personal protection equipment for health care workers and first responders.
De Blasio backed Gov. Cuomo’s push to force private health companies with ventilators to hand them over. Cuomo’s executive order calls on the National Guard to redistribute the ventilators to those in the worst need.
“The federal government has to cover the needs of the nation, I understand that,” de Blasio said. “But I also understand we’re the epicenter of this crisis, and everybody in Washington acknowledges it. No one denies we’re bearing the brunt and it’s going to hit in the next few days. This is a wartime dynamic. People’s lives are at stake. There is no reason to hold back that equipment.”
Meanwhile, New York City’s coronavirus death toll climbed by 187 people in 24 hours with nearly 53,000 confirmed cases across the five boroughs Friday morning, health data shows. The city had 52,948 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of 9:30 a.m. Friday, an increase of 4,486 from the same time Thursday, according to health department data.
So far 1,584 people have died from coronavirus in the city – a 13.4% jump from the day before.
Queens is still the epicenter of the city’s outbreak with the most deaths and confirmed cases of all five boroughs.