Happy Friday. In terms of the roller coaster that’s been the last several days of press briefings from New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, the one on April 10 had the closest (if not faintest) sign of a light at the end of the tunnel for the COVID-19 crisis in New York.
Governor Cuomo reported a “dramatic decline” in the total number of hospitalizations, and for the first time since he’d begun giving his briefings, Cuomo noted that there was a negative number in terms of new ICU admissions. Although daily intubations were up slightly, the trend was still down. And in a week that saw three straight days of record totals of COVID-19-related deaths, Friday’s total was down, day-over-day, from 799 on April 8 to 777 on April 9.
But the governor spent the majority of the briefing driving home the point that we’re not out of the weeds yet—that the social distancing and stay-at-home orders are helping “flatten the curve” and that they could easily mean the difference between life and death for some New Yorkers.
To help with the hardships that have mushroomed up because of the pandemic, Cuomo said that the state would be allotting $200 million in emergency food assistance for 700,000 low-income households enrolled in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Also, he reported that Airbnb would be contributing $2 million to provide rooms in union hotels for frontline workers at no cost to them (a number of other New York City hotels would also be taking part in the program, offering up free rooms). And lastly, he noted that he’d be working with the state/federal government on launching a COVID-19 Heroes Compensation Fund, much like the one put in place after 9/11.