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Coronavirus Stimulus Plan Shortchanges N.Y., Officials Say: Live Updates




State and city officials in New York had hoped that Congress would soften the blow of the pandemic on household budgets and government coffers with a $2 trillion stimulus package that was expected to be approved this week.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, said the deal’s benefits for New York included over $40 billion in unemployment insurance, grants for hospitals and much-needed funding for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, whose ridership had plummeted.

But Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo complained on Wednesday that the package was “terrible” for New York. He said that only $3.1 billion was earmarked to help the state with its budget gap, a sum his office said was disproportionately low compared with what states with fewer confirmed coronavirus cases and with smaller budgets were in line to get.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, speaking at a news briefing later on Wednesday, went further, calling the deal “immoral.” Mr. de Blasio said New York City would be getting only $1 billion, despite having one-third of the country’s virus cases. He said he planned to appeal directly to President Trump, a native New Yorker, to “fix this situation.”

“It should have been one of the easiest no-brainers in the world for the U.S. Senate to include real money for New York City and New York State in this stimulus bill, and yet it didn’t happen,” Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, said, putting the blame on Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader.

More than 200 people from an Army field hospital in Kentucky were set to deploy to New York State on Thursday to help the state battle the coronavirus outbreak.

The personnel, from the 531st Hospital Center at Fort Campbell, an Army base along the Kentucky-Tennessee border, will “provide medical support and hospital capabilities,” according to a statement.

As the outbreak worsened in New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had asked for medical assistance from the military. Members of the National Guard have already been sent to help turn several large buildings, including the Jacob K. Javits Center in Manhattan, into makeshift medical centers.

The Army earlier this week issued deployment orders to three of its hospital centers, sending field hospitals to Washington and New York, two of the states hardest hit by the pandemic.

In several hours on Tuesday, Dr. Ashley Bray performed chest compressions at Elmhurst Hospital Center on a woman in her 80s, a man in his 60s and a 38-year-old who reminded the doctor of her fiancé. All had tested positive for the coronavirus and had gone into cardiac arrest. All eventually died.

Elmhurst, a 545-bed public hospital in Queens, has begun transferring patients not suffering from coronavirus to other facilities as it moves toward becoming a facility dedicated entirely to the outbreak. Doctors and nurses have struggled to make do with a few dozen ventilators. Calls over a loudspeaker of “Team 700,” the code for when a patient is on the verge of death, come several times a shift. Some have died inside the emergency room while waiting for a bed.

A refrigerated truck has been stationed outside to hold the bodies of the dead. Over the past 24 hours, New York City’s public hospital system said in a statement, 13 people at Elmhurst had died.


“It’s apocalyptic,” said Dr. Bray, a general medicine resident at the hospital.

Across the city, which has become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, hospitals are beginning to confront the kind of harrowing surge in cases that has overwhelmed health care systems in China, Italy and other countries.

Though the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continued to grow quickly and had now topped 30,000, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday said that there were early signs that stringent restrictions on social gatherings and other measures could be slowing the virus’s spread.

Mr. Cuomo highlighted data that showed slowing hospitalization rates. On Sunday, the state’s projections showed hospitalizations doubling every two days; on Tuesday, those estimates showed rates doubling every 4.7 days.

“The theory is, given the density that we’re dealing with, it spreads very quickly, but if you reduce the density, you can reduce the spread very quickly,” the governor said.

Other highlights from Wednesday:

  • New York State had 30,811 confirmed cases as of Wednesday morning, up more than 5,000 since the previous day. That was more than 7 percent of the 431,000 cases worldwide tallied by The New York Times. There had been 285 deaths in the state as of Wednesday morning.

  • Officials reported late Wednesday that New York City had added 3,223 new confirmed cases since that morning, bringing the city’s total to 20,011. The death tally stood at 280 as of late Wednesday, up from 199 in the morning.

  • There was encouraging news from Westchester County, where the rate of infection had slowed. “That was the hottest cluster in the United States of America,” Mr. Cuomo said. “We closed the schools, we closed gatherings, we brought in testing and we have dramatically slowed the increase.”

Reporting was contributed by Jonah Engel Bromwich, Luis Ferré-Sadurní, Michael Gold, Joseph Goldstein, Nicole Hong, Andy Newman, Brian M. Rosenthal, Michael Rothfeld, Somini Sengupta and Tracey Tully.

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