© Reuters. A man stands in front of a liquor store in Guerneville, California
By Jonnelle Marte and Barbara Goldberg
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Mayor of New York City, the epicenter of the country's coronavirus epidemic, described Sunday's outbreak as the biggest domestic crisis since the Great Depression and urged the U.S. military to mobilize to support the health care system keep from being overwhelmed.
"If we don’t get ventilators in the next 10 days, people who don’t have to die will die," said Mayor Bill de Blasio, when COVID-19 cases reached 8,000 and deaths 60 in the country's most populous city.
Nationwide, according to a Reuters balance sheet, 29,000 cases with at least 385 deaths have been exceeded. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T) The number of cases of highly contagious respiratory illness in the USA and Spain is only exceeded by China and Italy. Italy reported record daily coronavirus deaths last week.
"This will be the biggest domestic crisis since the Great Depression," de Blasio told CNN, referring to the 1930s economic crisis. "That's why we need a comprehensive mobilization of the American military."
Almost one in four Americans, or 80 million, was ordered to seek shelter at home when New York, California, Illinois, Connecticut and New Jersey introduced nationwide barriers.
Around the world, billions are adapting to a new reality. Countries such as Italy, Spain and France are banned and several South American nations are taking similar measures to stay ahead of the contagion, with the number of cases worldwide exceeding 300,000 and the number of deaths exceeding 13,000.
The blockage, which affects large parts of the American public to curb the spread of the coronavirus, is expected to last 10 to 12 weeks or until early June, said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday.
Washington lawmakers are on the verge of a deal that could pump a record $ 1 trillion into the economy to limit the economic damage caused by the corona virus.
On Fox News Sunday, Mnuchin said the package would allow an average family of four to make a one-time payment of $ 3,000.
De Blasio said the city is not receiving medical care from the federal government to cope with the rapid spread of the sometimes fatal disease.
"If the president does not act, people who could have lived differently will die," de Blasio told NBC.
Hospitals are looking for protective equipment for healthcare workers and respirators as they adapt to a wave of patients who need help with breathing, as severe cases often lead to pneumonia and reduced lung function.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo urged the federal government to provide medical care so that states don't have to compete for much-needed resources. He also repeated an invitation to the Army Corps of Engineers to build temporary hospitals.
Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump's government pushed for aggressive steps to curb the economic blow after Trump spent several weeks downplaying the risks of the virus.
Trump said on Twitter on Sunday that U.S. automakers Ford Motor (NYSE 🙂 Co, General Motors Co (NYSE 🙂 and Tesla (NASDAQ 🙂 Inc had been given the green light to ventilate fans and other items during the Coronavirus outbreak produce that are in short supply.
Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Sunday that the White House had recognized the urgency of the situation in New York.
"New York is not only trying to source resources itself, but we're going to bring them in from the federal government," he told CBS News.
US drug maker Merck & Co Inc announced that it delivered 500,000 donated masks to New York City on Sunday morning.
Aid is not coming quickly enough, said Cuomo.
"Time is important, counting minutes, and it's literally a matter of life and death," he said.
He also chastised New Yorkers who gathered in parks and other places and did not practice social distancing. He found that 53% of New York cases are between 18 and 49 years old.
"It's insensitive, arrogant, self-destructive … and it has to stop and it has to stop now," he said. "This is not a joke and I'm not kidding."