By Rafaela Prifti/
DIELLI FOLLOWS UP ON MEDICAL DATA AT THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE BRIEFING/
Governor Cuomo to discuss with Mayor de Blasio the handling of last night’s protests and possible curfew. Dielli follows up on the virus medical data at the Governor’s Office
The city is approaching the reopening date of June 8 and all around the state the restrictions are being lifted following the phased approach. At the Monday briefing, the Governor restated the historic roots of racism. While supporting the need for social justice and reform, he voiced his frustration that the massive gatherings are undercutting the efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus in the state that experienced the highest number of hospitalizations, infections and deaths in the country. “We will not know the impact of these gatherings for a few weeks now,” said the Governor. Criticizing the looting and destruction by ‘outsiders and individuals with personal motives”, Mr. Cuomo repeated that acts of violence hurt the message of injustice and discrimination. Referencing previous moments that called for change like housing, payment and gender inequities, gun laws, the Governor said that this is the time to rally “in a smart way” by presenting an agenda to the politicians.
English Editor of Dielli followed up on her question about the medical data for the Albanian-American community, more specifically the number of deaths of Albanians in the state. Do you have that? And, could you elaborate on instituting “surge and flex” in the absence of a hospital system?
Governor Cuomo: Yes, you did say that Friday. Did we get that number yet?
Melissa DeRosa, Governor’s Secretary answered: So, it’s actually not broken out that way. The way the hospitals report the data, they report Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic, Asian and other. We have asked the Health Department to follow your question on Friday if there’s a way to go back and discuss with the specific hospitals, and see if there’s a way to break down that number further. And we’re working on that right now.
Governor Cuomo: In terms of the hospitals, this is one of the lessons, right? Lessons learned from this terrible situation. Our public health system, we all talk about our public health system. The hospitals are not a public health system. The mayor talks about a public hospital system because there is a system called H&H– Health and Hospitals— which are 11 public hospitals in New York City. The eleven hospitals that the city runs, are nowhere near the ability to manage a health problem in the City. There are 100 hospitals in the New York City area, but they’re private— and they’ve never really worked together. NYU Langone is one hospital, Columbia-Presbyterian is another hospital, Northwell is another hospital are separate hospitals. They don’t share patients, materials or resources. What we were forced to do in a public health crisis like this, we instituted the “surge-and-flex” for the first time. Elmhurst gets overwhelmed as a hospital. If the public ones cannot because it then we have to figure out how to get these 100 privates to actually operate as a system. I said to them to increase capacity by 50%. That was the surge. After we increased capacity, we said “when one of you gets overwhelmed, or one of you doesn’t have the staff, or one of you doesn’t have the PPE, — we’re going to share among and coordinate among all 100 private hospitals.” That had never been done before. And when you talk about a worst-case-scenario— a worst-case-scenario is you exceed your hospital capacity. That has never been thought of. And that’s what we developed during the Coronavirus, but we did it very quickly. And we’re now codifying that and refining that— because it’s also very disruptive to the hospitals.
Governor Cuomo is meeting with Mayor de Blasio to discuss the handling of last night’s protests by police and a possible curfew in the city.
This update has been lightly edited for clarity.