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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ripped the Senate’s multitrillion-dollar coronavirus response package Wednesday as being “terrible” for his state, arguing that the $3.8 billion in relief for his state it would offer is only a “drop in the bucket.”
The Democrat’s blunt criticism of the bill – which is currently working its way through Congress – comes as New York is dealing with 30,811 confirmed coronavirus cases.
“It would really be terrible for the state of New York,” Cuomo told reporters Wednesday from its capital of Albany.
“We are looking at a revenue shortfall of nine, 10, 15 billion dollars. This response to this virus has probably already cost us $1 billion. It will probably cost us several billion dollars when we are done,” he added, noting that the House's coronavirus relief bill had offered a higher figure of $17 billion.
“New York City only gets $1.3 billion from this package, that is a drop in the bucket as to need,” Cuomo continued. “I spoke to our house delegation this morning, I said to them ‘This doesn’t do it... [and] that we really need their help.”
Cuomo also said he has been in frequent contact with President Trump over what he perceives is New York’s current “single greatest challenge” -- securing 30,000 ventilators for patients who would need hospital care.
He went out of the way to praise Jared Kushner, who “knows New York and is working in the White House and he’s been extraordinarily helpful on all of these situations.
“What we are working on is a common challenge -- no one has these ventilators, and no one ever anticipated a situation where you would need this number of ventilators to deal with a public health emergency,” Cuomo said. “So we have purchased everything that can be purchased. We are now in a situation where we are trying to accelerate production of these ventilators and a ventilator is a complicated piece of equipment.”
Cuomo says in addition to auto manufacturers who already have offered to help make them, because “our timeline is so short," he, Trump and the White House team are "getting very creative, we are talking to countries around the world as well as new companies that could do production.”
Cuomo noted that he is also talking with the president about directing the national coronavirus response toward areas that need it most.
“What I said to the president and his team is ‘Look, rather than saying we have to provide equipment for the entire country at one time, let's talk about addressing the critical need in that hotspot. Once that hotspot turns... then shift to the next hotspot and have more of a rolling deployment across the country than a static deployment,” he said.
“So I said to the White House, ‘Send us the equipment that we need, send us the personnel, as soon as we get past our critical moment we will redeploy that equipment and personnel to the next hotspot’,” Cuomo continued. “And I will personally guarantee it and I will personally manage it.
“We are asking the country to help us, we will return the favor, and we are all in this together.”