April 3, 2020 / 3:43 PM / 2 months ago

New York reports deadliest day from coronavirus, makes plea for help

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York suffered its deadliest single day from the novel coronavirus, with 562 additional deaths in the last 24 hours for a total of 2,935 fatalities, by far the most of any U.S. state, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday.

Cuomo warned that people were “going to die in the near term” due to a lack of ventilators and hospital beds and called for resources from across the United States to be deployed to New York to help it deal with the growing crisis in the state - the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak.

“New York is in crisis. Help New York. Then pick up... and then go to the next place as this rolls across the country,” Cuomo told a daily briefing on the public health crisis. “That’s how we beat this damn virus as it marches across the country.”

Cuomo said he had spoken with Alibaba Group Holding (BABA.N) co-founder Jack Ma and was getting help from the Chinese e-commerce giant in sourcing materials from China, the biggest producer of personal protective equipment (PPE) in short supply for medical workers.

The governor, who has emerged as a national voice on the coronavirus response, said he would sign an executive order to take ventilators and PPE from facilities in the state that have them and do not need them to deal with the virus.

“If they want to sue me for borrowing their excess ventilators to save lives, let them sue me,” Cuomo said, responding to a question of whether the order could be challenged legally. “I’m not going to let people die.”

reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut and Maria Caspani in New York, Editing by Franklin Paul and Bill Berkrot

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