"These are beautiful, generous people — and New Yorkers will return the favor," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday

By Maria Pasquini
April 02, 2020 04:06 PM
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Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to worsen in New York, putting an increased strain on hospitals, thousands of health care workers have stepped up to help.

During his daily press briefing on Thursday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that 21,000 out-of-state health care workers would be coming to the aid of the state, which leads the country in coronavirus cases.

“God bless America,” Cuomo said as he announced the news. “I thank them. I thank their patriotism. I thank their dedication and passion to the admission of public health. These are beautiful, generous people — and New Yorkers will return the favor.”

“When your community needs help, New Yorkers will be there — and you have my personal word on that,” he added. “I will never forget how people across this country came to the aid of New Yorkers when they needed it, and I deeply appreciate it.”

In addition to the out-of-state workers, there are an additional 85,400 volunteers who are being deployed to hospitals across the state, Gov. Cuomo said.

The news came just days after Gov. Cuomo urged any health care workers who were not actively involved in the fight against the virus to come to New York.

“If you don’t have a health care crisis in your community, please come help us in New York now,” he said on Monday, according to CBS News. “Today it’s New York, tomorrow it will be somewhere else. This is the time for us to help one another.”

“If there is division at this time, the virus will defeat us — if there ever was a moment for unity, this is the time for it,” he added.

As of Thursday, there have been at least 234,438 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the country, with over 92,000 of those coming from New York, according to aThe New York Times database. There have been 2,468 deaths in the state so far, which accounts for almost half of the total fatalities from the virus in the country.

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During his Thursday press conference, Gov. Cuomo also spoke about the shortage of medical supplies in the state, including ventilators. “At the current burn rate, we have about six days of ventilators in our stockpile,” he said.

He went on to note that although the highest number of cases have occurred in New York City, the virus has reached every county in the state, with high numbers also being reported in Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

“I’m doing everything I can, but people are still dying and that is hurtful and humbling and painful. Just painful,” he said.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.