NY Gov. Cuomo: ‘Nobody Knows’ When This Will Be Over, But It Won’t Be Soon

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) speaks at a press conference in New York on March 30, 2020. (Photo by John Lamparski/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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March 31, 2020 1:50 p.m.
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) offered a sobering message regarding the ongoing spread of coronavirus cases in the state during a press conference Tuesday.

“We’re all anxious, all tired, all fatigued. It’s been all bad news for a long time. Our whole lifestyle has been disrupted,” Cuomo said during a daily briefing in Albany. “Everybody wants to know one thing: when is it over? Nobody knows.”

Pointing out how despite President Trump initially gave an Easter timeline to reopen the economy, Cuomo reiterated that “nobody knows” when the outbreak will be over.

“It is not going to be soon,” Cuomo said. “If our apex is 14 to 21 days, that’s our apex. You then have to come down the other side of the mountain once you hit the apex. So calibrate yourself and your expectations so you’re not disappointed every morning you get up.”

Later in the press conference, Cuomo said that the state has ordered 17,000 ventilators from China that would cost around $25,000 each.

After saying that the state is “broke” and that “the last thing I want to do is buy a single ventilator that I don’t need,” Cuomo described the complexity behind ordering ventilators from China — which California, Illinois, the federal government and Italy are also doing.

“The orders into China are very slow in coming out. Exactly how and why, we’re not sure. It’s just they have such a tremendous demand,” Cuomo said. “Of the 17,000 [ordered by New York state], we only have a firm expectation on 2,500.”

Cuomo said that the ventilators are supposed to come in the next two weeks, but added that all 50 states are “competing to buy the same item.”

“We all wind up bidding up each other and competing against each other, where you now literally will have a company call you up and say California just outbid you,” Cuomo said. “It’s like being on Ebay with 50 other states bidding on a ventilator. And you see the bid go up because California bid, Illinois bid, Florida bid, New York bids, California rebids. That’s literally what we’re doing.”

Cuomo added that FEMA’s involvement in bidding for ventilators, in addition to all 50 states, has only complicated the situation.

“So FEMA is driving up the price. What sense does this make?” Cuomo said. “The federal government, FEMA, should have been the purchasing agent — buy everything and then allocate it by need to the states. Why would you create a situation where 50 states are competing with each other and then the federal government and FEMA comes in and competes with the rest of it?”

Watch Cuomo’s remarks below:

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