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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo: Looking For Possible Apex In 21 Days; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo: Curve Is Still Going Up, Hope To See Flattening Soon; Andrew Cuomo Responds To Trump: I Don't Operate Based On Opinions; President Donald Trump Lashes Out General Motors Over Ventilators. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired March 27, 2020 - 12:00   ET



GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D- NY): And what they did is top shelf. I want to thank the Javits staff which is really stepped up and I want to thank our national God, because you are the best of us. You are the best of us. And moreover we call on you, you are there and what you did in this facility in one week creating a hospital is just incredible.

I don't know how you did it, now you did such a good job that I am asking for four more from the President. That's the downside as being as good as you are of what you did. What you did was really incredible.

I want to make two-points to you and I want to make two promises to you. This is a different beast that we are dealing with. This is an invisible beast. It is an insidious beast. This is not going to be a short deployment. This is not going to be that you go out there a few days and you work hard and we go home.

This is going to be weeks and weeks and weeks. This is going to be a long day. And it is going to be a hard day, and it is going to be an ugly day and it is going to be a sad day.

This is a rescue mission that you are on. The mission is to save lives. That's what you are doing. The rescue mission is to save lives. And as hard as we work, we are not going able to save everyone. What's even more cruel is this enemy does not attack the strongest of us. It attacks the weakest of us. It attacks our most vulnerable which makes it even worse in many ways.

Because these are the people that every instinct tells us we are supposed to protect. These are our parents and our grandparents. These are our aunts and our uncles and these are our relatives who are sick. Every instinct says protect them and help them because they need us.

And those are the exact people that this enemy attacks. Every time I have call out the National Guard, I said the same thing to you. I promise you I will not ask you to do anything that I will do myself and I will never ask you to go anywhere that I won't go myself. And the same is true here. We are going to do this and we are going to do it together. My second point is you are living a moment in history. This is going

to be one of most those moments that they're going to write about and they going to talk about for generations. This is a moment that's going to change this nation. This is a moment that forges character, forges people and changes people.

Make them stronger, make them weaker but this is a moment that'll change character and ten years from now you will be talking about today, to your children or your grandchildren and you will shed a tear because you will remember the lives lost and you will remember the faces and you will remember the names and you will remember how hard we worked and that we still lost loved ones.

And you all shed a tear and you should because you will be sad. But you will also be proud. You will be proud of what you did. You will be proud that you showed up, you showed up when other people played it safe, you had the courage to show up. And you had the skills and the professionalism to make a difference and safe lives.

That's what you will have done. At the end of the day nobody can ask anything more from you. That's your duty to do what you can when you can. You will have shown skills and courage, and talent, you will be there with your mind and you will be there with your heart. And you will serve with honor. And that'll give you pride and you should be proud.


CUOMO: I know that I am proud of you. And every time the National Guard has been called out, they have made every New Yorker proud. And, I am proud to be with you here again. And I am proud to fight this fight with you.

And I bring you thanks from all over New Yorkers who are just so appreciative of the sacrifice that you are making, the skills that you are bringing, the talent that you are bringing and you give many New Yorkers confidence.

So, I say, my friends that we go out there today and we kick Coronavirus' ass, that's what I say. And we are going to save lives and New York is going to thank you. God bless each and every one of you.


JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Listening to the Governor of New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo waiting to hear here if he takes any questions. He is at the Javits center in New York City and normally we will see reports in the front rows and in of the Governor today members of the New York's State National Guard, the Governor thanking them for their work they as in many states.

The National Guard has been activated help in the Coronavirus fight. The Governor speaking in the Javits center, let's listen.

CUOMO: The fact that somebody said on cable TV shows, the ventilators that New York needed are not even being deployed. They're in the stockpile. Yes, they're in the stockpile because that's where they're supposed to be because we don't need them yet.

We need them from the apex and apex is not here. So, we are gathering them in the stockpile so when we need them, they'll be there. We don't need them today because we are not in capacity today. That's why they are not deployed because they are not needed.

Second point well maybe you don't need 30,000. Well, look, I don't have a crystal ball. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. But I don't operate here on opinion. I operate on facts and on data and on numbers and on projections. We have the - which is making projections, CDC is making projections McKenzie and company are making projections for us.

All the projection says you could have an apex needing 140,000 beds and about 40,000 ventilators. Those are numbers Zucker. Not I see or I think or I believe, I want to believe make the decisions based on the data and the science and we are following the data and the science and that's what the data and the science says.

I hope we don't need 30,000 ventilators, I hope some natural weather change happens over night and kills the virus globally. That's what I hope. But, that's my hope. That's my emotion that's my thought. The numbers say you may need 30,000.

CUOMO: You will see as these numbers increase, you will see hospitals reaching capacity. You will see if the numbers continue to increase, hospitals over capacity. That's the whole planning exercise. That's why we are building a thousand bed facilities here.

That's why we are building 1000 bed facilities, that's why I am asking the President for another 4000 bed facility because those hospitals will reach capacity.


So to be alarmed, well hospitals reaching capacity. Yes, that's what we have been saying and that's what we have been planning for, that's why we are here.


CUOMO: What I said initially, let's look out for two weeks and see where we are at the end of two weeks. Two weeks is up I let's extend another two weeks and see where we are. And, at the end of two weeks, if the same trajectory is going up and the there has not been a change then you are right.

Then we'll extend it. Why not say today we'll extend it for four week or six weeks or eight weeks because I don't know what's going to happen. I don't know what's going to happen next week. Nobody knows what's going to happen next week.

So two weeks and then we'll reassess. You are right, Andrew if the numbers continue this way then yes, all likelihood we'll extend another two weeks.


CUOMO: The, I'll let Dr. Zucker - but luck, flatten the curve is only two things you can do. Life is options. One is social distancing which we have taken as dramatic in action as anyone and anywhere two testing to find a positive and isolate the positives and stop the spread we are doing more testing than any place in the country and per capita more than any person in a group so we are doing everything we can.

Is that why the curve is slowing or the doubling is slowing? I would think there is a correlation I don't think it is a coincidence. And, the rate of doubling is slowing and that's the good news. But, the curve still is going up. Doctor do you want to add anything to that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I concur what the Governor is saying. There are a lot of different factors that can be involved in this. Obviously the social distancing is I believe working and the virus is not spreading more individuals as it was spreading, where the number of hospitalization keeps rising and doubling rate. As well as earlier so I think they'll have a better answer to this probably, in a couple more days when we see the trend.


CUOMO: The criteria you need a large open in-door space with power with HP AC with a companying space where you can set up with medical staff and supply and staging area. You need a place that's now empty so you don't have to clear it.

And, my strategic decision was that one per county so every county and every bureau has one facility in their bureau. And we started we looked at about ten sites and we are eliminating them. We got them down to a short list.

We run with the army core of engineers because they would actually do the construction of it and we came up with a final list of these four. And today, I am going to send that list to the President asking him to approve those four that would be in addition with 4,000 units.

We have 4,000 units on the table. This is 1,000 of those 4,000, so it will be a total of 8,000 units from the Federal Government for temporary hospital beds.


CUOMO: First is the approval. We need the approval first and then the timeline to get them constructed is somewhere in the neighborhood of ten days. But the first question is the approval. That's up to the President.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we are looking at that policy and recognizing this is difficult for many families. Via hospitals, we are trying to figure out what would be the approach we have of this. But the hospitals have the right to do something further then we would recommend.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we are working to those involve the hospitals. Their Healthcare workers are on the front line as the Governor mentioned before. And we are addressing for what's the necessary both precautions which will recommend them bit also to provide information to that patients. And they have been very responsive and obviously they're concerned about their patients.


CUOMO: Yes to the budget and discussions with the legislative leaders the Federal Government said, promised and replied stated that they would provide aid to state government. They passed the bill, they did not do that. You know this is math at one point. We have no state revenues to speak of. We are going to have to dramatically cut our state's expenses.

We can't spend which you don't have. You cannot do that in a family you cannot do that in a business you cannot do that in government. The Federal Government only gave us $5 billion that's only for Coronavirus expenses.

That's all it could be used for. We have lost about 10 to $15 billion in revenue. People don't work and they don't pay income tax and business is closed, they don't pay tax. So we have about 10 to $15 hold the Federal Government gave us zero, nada, - zilch, we're going to have to cut. That's all New York terms, Right?

We're going to have to cut education aid because that's the number one expense and healthcare we can use the $5 billion from the Feds for the Coronavirus care. But the main expense for the state's budget is education. They know that. So when they did not give the state funding, all they did was cut the education budget to the state of New York which is a tragedy.


CUOMO: There is not a lot to negotiating you know when the number is zero it makes it an easy budget to negotiate. Zero is actual an easy number.


CUOMO: We have said there can be no evictions based on rent for 90 days. So if you don't pay rent for 90 days, you can't be evicted.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you consider closing down construction sites because a lot of these workers are working - protective gear and--

CUOMO: Yes that's exactly what we did yesterday. The question was closing down construction sites and we are closing down non-essential construction sites. Some construction is essential right to keep the place running but non-essential construction is going to be stopped.


CUOMO: We have a list. I can get it to you later if you would like.


CUOMO: Yes it is as long as what was called an executive order is going to - with this situation like this. People are out of work, you are out of work. You can qualify for unemployment insurance. That's not what you are making. You still have to buy food and you still have to pay expenses, rent which tends to be 40 percent or 50 percent of a person's income believe it or not.


CUOMO: It becomes a big expense to carry. I sign an executive order saying for the next three months, a landlord abide law cannot evict a tenant for non-payment of rent. So, if you can't pay the rent, that's an understandable circumstance. We said 90 days because we don't know how long it will go on. We can revisit it. But for now for 90 days by law, the landlord cannot evict you.

All right, let's go to work, guys. Thank you all very much, just give them a big round of applause what they have done and they are doing.


KING: The Governor of New, York Andrew Cuomo applaud at the end the members of the New York State National Guard, you see them at the Javits center there that one of the emergency hospitals being converted with help of the God, help of army core of engineers.

As always some big headline and some sad headlines out of the Governor Cuomo's daily briefing New York of course the epicenter in this fight the Governor announcing New York's case total is now up to 44635. Just look at the number on the screener there New York is almost half of the national total here in the United States as the national total goes in excess 90000 hearing up toward a 100000.

The Governor also announcing the death toll in New York is now 519. That's the day-to-day increase of 134 from yesterday. Yesterday it was in the 300s and 519 and now again, put New York's deaths in the context that the national number at 1,353 and rising.

The Governor also says he believes the apex is turn about 21 days away to back to the conversation in a moment, with our guests and Governor returning politely but returning the fire of the President of United States on the question is how many ventilators that New York needs.

Let's continue our conversation with our Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen an Emergency Room Doctor Nathan Allan. I want to start with this, the Surgeon General Jerome Adams was on national television this morning saying yes New York is having a horrible week but he sees the potential for progress. The Governor is saying not so fast. Let's listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: We are hopeful that New York will start to come down because again the cases are level up.

CUOMO: Now, we are looking at about 21 days for a possible apex.


KING: Elizabeth Cohen, let me start with you nobody knows for certain but the Governor is not as optimistic as the Surgeon General clearly.

DR. ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDANT: Right, absolutely. And I think that there are great reasons for that infectious disease experts and the epidemiologists that I'm talking are much more where the Governor is. They say that this is about the amount of time that they would expect to see the apex and remember that's just the apex. The outbreak is still going on, it may after the apex. It will get better but it will still be bad.

What I want people to remember that is what happens in New York is likely to happen in other places. John, we are all familiar with the flu. You don't get the flu just in New York, just in Los Angeles or just in Washington. The flu eventually covers the entire countries.

This virus in many ways much more contagious because people spread it before even they know they are sick which is not typically how the flu works. So, when we all look at New York. We should know that it very well to happen where we live to.

KING: Yes it is great point we focus a lot on New York not just because the Governor gives daily brief things but because it is the epicenter right now. As he calls it the cannery and the coal mine Dr. Allen. Coming on that point the Governor is saying look the cases are up the death toll is sadly up. He does say though if there is a silver lining and I am not even sure I would use that term, it sounds too optimistic.

But that the rate of hospitalization as the - yes the hospitalizations are increasing but the rate of the increase has slowed some. What does that tell you about, is that just a proof that social distancing works?

DR. NATHAN ALLEN, ER DOCTOR, BILLINGS CLINIC: I think it is proof that social distancing is working effectively. Non emergency physicians and on the essence of what we are doing what a lot of other healthcare workers do is save lives. The best days at work are the days when we don't have to save someone's life.

And so, the message that he's getting out about stopping the spread flatten the curve and saving lives is the one of the most essentials right now

KING: It is essential. And Doctor, let me stay with you for minute take me inside as we listen to the Governor and he talks about the need of four temporary hospitals already set up with the help of the army core of engineers. He is going to ask the President of United States for four more today.

You have a naval vessel with 1000 more beds approaching New York Harbor should be there by Monday, I believe is the latest estimate. What are you seeing in the emergency room today as oppose to yesterday and several days ago?

ALLEN: So what I am working right now, we are still a little bit behind the curve of New York is. And that's what we are trying to do the best that we can to stop the spread and prevent the situation from becoming as dire as it is with New York.


ALLEN: All hospitals around the country are actively building our capacity and working to increase that to try to raise the availability to meet the surging need. And so, you know not all hospitals and our Governor there talks about ventilators. We worked to tried triple or quadruple our ability to run patients on ventilators and provide particular cure services that becomes necessary here in Montana.

KING: Right now we are going to watch here in Montana people around the country are learning lesson as we watch other places go through it and anticipating. Let's hope for all. But anticipating the case count will go up everywhere.

As we know, the President just this hour venting new frustrations at General Motors that over the number of ventilators he says they promised to deliver all is a mess with maybe that's the President of General Motors Marry Bar.

CNN's Kaitlan Collins joins the conversation from the White House. Kaitlan before I get to the General Motor conversation. I want to go back to the Governor of New York just moments ago. The President went on "Hannity" - well let's do it this way, the President went on "Hannity" last night and said this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When you are talking about ventilators, that's like buying a car. It is highly expensive and very intricate piece of equipment. Governor Cuomo and others that saying we want you know 30,000 of them. 30,000, I don't think that certain things will be materialized and a lot of equipment being asked for that they won't need.


KING: Kaitlan, here was the Governor's response. He's not as emotional as he has been in some past briefings, but he said everybody is entitled to their own opinion. I don't operate on opinion then he went onto say, then he went on to say I feel, I think, I believe, make decisions based on data and science so another confrontation between the President of the United States and the Governor of New York.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDANT: The President didn't mention Cuomo specifically during that quote last night on "Sean Hannity Show." But clearly we know Governor Cuomo has said he needs 30,000 ventilators. The President was down playing it last night talking about how some major hospitals only had two ventilators he said in the past essentially raising this question.

And of course the reason New York needs 30,000 ventilators they say right now is because they are worried about this crush of patients that they're already they are seeing and worried about what to come in the next several weeks.

So it is really is noble that you saw the President down playing those ventilators last night and that need that we've heard from hospitals because he is doing the opposite on Twitter today. And he is in the middle of this feud with GM right now because as CNN reported by "The New York Times" we have now confirmed.

There was going to be this announcement that the administration was planning to make with GM and another company to talk about producing thousand of ventilators. It hit a snag and it is essentially being reassessed we were told to be.

We are told it is not called off. We look at the President's tweets this clearly he is clearly not happy with GM. The reason that those talks at a snag, when they came pretty close being announced was because they were worried about how long it was going to take GM and this other company to make these ventilators and also the price tag on it.

Because not only where we obviously going that to pay for ventilators but GM we're told by the White House also wanted them to pay to retool their factories because currently they don't make ventilators at this plant in Indiana where they were expecting to make these.

So the question here now is you know how is this going to move forward? It has been pretty a clear need that they need more ventilators we know they are looking other options right now; there is no agreement with GM to move forward to make these ventilators. And you see the President continuing to lash out.

Another tweet he put out, just crafted out one you read there. He said General Motors must immediately open their stupidly abandoned plant in Ohio or some other plants and then he goes into all caps and he says start making ventilators now. He also calls on Ford to get going on ventilator, fast.

Okay, one thing I want to know GM sold that Ohio plant last year to a vehicle startup company. They don't even own it anymore. Really walking out of this, John, what people are going to be asking is that this is going to encourage the President to involve the Defense Production Act to actually require government mandate these companies to make these ventilators instead of just being in talks with them and have them do on their own as they have been doing so far.

KING: Help me through this a little bit Kaitlan. Because this is another example like the Google website of the President now venting out, lashing at somebody else, blaming somebody else after he has publicly over promised or he promised something that's way ahead of the facts.

He says Google is going to have a national website. Google is still trying for a regional website in the San Francisco area. He said that these companies would be ready to produce ventilators leaving the impression that it would be quickly they have to retrofit their factories.

Last night he lashed out at several Governors in his remarks as well. What do we know inside about the sources of the President Frustrations and anger?

COLLINS: Well, the question here is when it comes something as specific to ventilators, is the President is down playing it and then now he's getting help from other Governors because they say they do not have enough ventilators in their hospitals and now the President is calling on these private companies that they have already been in talks with about making these ventilators to speed it up.

Of course, as he himself noted in last night Ventilators are a pretty complex machine. So it is not something that you can make as quickly as something like masks which has been an another question of whether or not there is enough in these hospitals because you are seeing doctors and nurses say they don't.