Governor Cuomo on His Talk with President Trump: Army Corps of Engineers “Coming In Tomorrow.”

WPCNR CORONAVIRUS REPORT. From the Governor’s Press Office. March 18, 2020:

AUDIO & RUSH TRANSCRIPT: GOVERNOR CUOMO IS A GUEST ON MSNBC WITH RACHEL MADDOW AND BRIAN WILLIAMS

Governor Cuomo: “I had a very good conversation with the President where I said, look, forget Democrat and Republican. We’re Americans and we’re talking life and death. We’re going to have a tragedy in this state. We have the highest number of cases in the United States. We are going to have a real tragedy where people die because they couldn’t get the right health care. And I need the help of the federal government – I need that partnership.

I said I put out my hand in partnership. I want to work with you. I’ll be a good partner. I need your help. Let’s do what we were elected to do. Let’s fulfill our constitutional duty and the President said yes.”

Cuomo: “I believe he’s sincere. More than just belief, he has acted on it, Rachel. I spoke to the Secretary of Defense today. I got a call from the White House team late last night, early this morning. I have the Army Corps of Engineers coming in here tomorrow.”

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WESTMED UPDATED ADVISORY ON APPOINTMENTS, PRACTICES TO AVOID CORONAVIRUS TRANSMISSION

WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. From Westmed. March 18, 2020:

Editor’s Note: This is a letter from the CEO of Westrmed

Last week, I sent an update regarding coronavirus and Westmed’s ongoing efforts to provide uninterrupted access to care for patients during this challenging time.

Though only a few days have passed since my last update, we have seen a growing rate of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in our local community, and believe that to make a greater impact in flattening the curve of disease spread, we must take swift action.

Beginning today, Westmed will temporarily close several site locations throughout Westchester and Fairfield, including the postponement of elective procedures, and reduction in overall volume of in-person visits at the offices that will remain open at this time. 

You can find a full list of office locations and departments that will remain open by visiting this link. This decision is in-keeping with the recommendations for disease mitigation strategies aspublished by the CDC, and supports our nation’s shared efforts to practice social distancing and meant to prevent the ongoing spread of COVID-19.

Once again, while office visits will be limited for the near future, we encourage you to use our Virtual Visit services offered by Westmed Urgent Care, Primary Care Providers, and Specialists. You can request a Virtual Visit with a Primary Care Provider or Specialist by simply calling your provider’s office and requesting a “Virtual Visit” when you speak with an associate. In addition, Westmed Virtual Urgent Care Visits are also available 7 days/week from 9am-6pm for patients seeking on-demand access to quality care. We have developed this instructional guide for you to use to join your visit from your mobile or desktop device, if you are scheduled for an upcoming Primary Care or Specialty Care Virtual Visit. We do understand that telehealth is not appropriate for all of our patients and will do our best to accommodate in-person visits on a limited basis.

We sincerely apologize that you may be inconvenienced by cancellations or rescheduling. As always, we encourage you to reach out to your provider via phone or through the My Westmed Patient Portal to discuss any concerns or questions you have about your care. We will continue to monitor the situation with the hope of resuming regularly scheduled office visits as soon as possible. Remember to stay connected by frequently visiting our website at www.westmedgroup.com and social media pages, and listening to our Public Health Announcements Hotline: (914) 831-4149 for the latest information and updates.

By making responsible choices together, we can be the difference.

Best wishes for continued good health,

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GOVERNOR’S OFFICE DENIES Ability of NYC MAYOR CALL FOR “SHELTER IN PLACE.”

Admisdt fears that the Mayor of New York City, William DeBlasio has supported “Sheltering in Place,” Governor Cuomo’s Secretary issued this statement this afternoon:


“The emergency policies that have been issued are of statewide impact, and the Governor is making every effort to coordinate these policies with our surrounding states. Any blanket quarantine or shelter in place policy would require State action and as the Governor has said, there is no consideration of that for any locality at this time

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Governor Cuomo Talks with President Trump, Asks for Federal Aid to Help NY Expand Hospital Construction to Meet Virus Care Demand. Requests FEMA and Army Corps of Engineers. President Says “What Do You Need?’ Governor says he believes Trump will Help. 1,374 Stricken with coronavirus in NY as of this morning. Complete NEWS CONFERENCE BELOW with what happens next.

The Complete Governor Cuomo Coronavirus briefing this morning from Albany. MUST SEE NEWS.
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GOVERNOR CUOMO MOVES TO EXPAND HOSPITAL CAPACITY

WPCNR CORONAVIRUS REPORT. From the Governor’s Press Office. march 16, 2020:\

During a novel coronavirus briefing, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today issued an Executive Order allowing the state to increase hospital capacity to prepare the state’s healthcare system to handle the potential influx of patients suffering from COVID-19.

The State will organize the National Guard and work with building unions and private developers to find existing facilities — such as dormitories and former nursing homes — that can most easily be converted to medical facilities, with the goal of creating an additional 9,000 beds.

The Governor also asked local governments, especially those in the most impacted areas, to help identify available facilities for this purpose. The State Department of Health is also suspending regulations to allow existing hospitals to increase space and capacity.

The Governor has asked the Greater New York Hospital Association President Ken Raske and Northwell Health President Michael Dowling to lead a council to develop hospital surge capacity.

“Our main priority right now is reducing the rate of spread of this virus so it can be managed by our healthcare system,” Governor Cuomo said. “We have never fought a virus like this with this potential consequence, and I am taking executive action to reconfigure and increase capacity at hospitals across the state to ensure our healthcare facilities can handle a potentially massive surge of patients. We are fighting a war against this virus and the state will continue taking every step necessary to prepare for and mitigate the impacts of this virus.”

The Governor directed nonessential state employees statewide to work from home starting tomorrow.

The Governor also directed local governments to reduce their overall workforce by 50 percent and allow nonessential employees to work from home.

Following the Governor’s directive to close schools in Westchester, New York City, Nassau and Suffolk yesterday, Governor Cuomo said that the counties are required to submit their childcare and meal plans to the state for approval by midnight tonight. 

The Governor also announced New York State will waive all fees for state, local and county parks.

Additionally, the Governor authorized the State to open a drive-through mobile testing facility on Staten Island – the first drive-through facility in New York City – and in Rockland County. This follows the success of the New Rochelle mobile testing center, which opened March 13th. Drive-through mobile testing facilities help keep people who are sick or at risk of having contracted coronavirus out of healthcare facilities where they could infect other people. These facilities are a critical part of the Governor’s nation-leading program to test thousands of people per day for COVID-19 by this week.

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Connecticut, New Jersey and New York Agree on Uniform Coronavirus Restrictions


AMID LACK OF FEDERAL DIRECTION, GOVERNOR CUOMO, GOVERNOR MURPHY AND GOVERNOR LAMONT ANNOUNCE REGIONAL APPROACH TO COMBATTING COVID-19

The three States will limit crowd capacity for recreational and social gatherings to 50 people – effective by 8 PM tonight

Restaurants and bars will close for on premise service and move to take-out and delivery only effective 8 PM tonight

Movie theaters, gyms and casinos will temporarily close effective 8 PM tonight

Uniform approach to social distancing will slow spread of COVID-19 throughout the tri-state area

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White Plains Considers “Non Disclosure” Agreement with County NOT to reveal “Protected” Public Health Information (provided to City by County) to the public.

WPCNR COMMON COUNCIL CHRONICLE-EXAMINER. From the City Clerk. March 16, 2020 UPDATED 11:33 A.M. EDT WITH ORDINANCE TRANSCRIPT:

The City Clerk has noticed a Special Meeting Monday afternoon at 4:30 in the Mayor’s Conference Roomof the Common Council to consider the following legislation:

Communication from Corporation Counsel in relation to a non-disclosure agreement between the City and the County of Westchester related to Protected Health Information provided to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health and safety of a person or the public.

  1. Ordinance of the Common Council of the City of White Plains authorizing the Mayor and the Commissioner of Public Safety or the Chief of Police to enter into a non-disclosure agreement between the City of White Plains and the County of Westchester related to Protected Health Information provided to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health and safety of a person or the
    public.

Editor’s Note: Examination of the ordinance to be considered gives this detail of the restriction(s):

“the County of Westchester has agreed to provide certain protected health information to the City of White Plains in order to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health and safety of the citizens and the public in White Plains provided the City agrees to execute a non-disclosure agreement which provides that its employees will protect and safeguard any Public Health Information received from the County and protect the privacy of any person subject to a Department of Health isolation order and which further provides that the City will indemnify the County for any and all administrative or legal actions that are based upon any unauthorized disclosure or dissemination of Public Health Information by the City or any of its employees.

“WHEREAS, the City finds that it would be in the best interests of the City of White Plains to obtain the Public Health Information to be provided by the County:

NOW THEREFORE, the Common Council of the City of White Plains hereby ordains and enacts as follows:

Section 1. The Mayor and the Commissioner of Public Safety or the Chief of Police are hereby authorized to execute a non-disclosure agreement between the City of White Plains and the County of Westchester authorizing the disclosure of certain Public Health Information by the County of Westchester upon the City agreeing to protect the privacy of individuals involved and the City agreeing to indemnify the County for any unauthorized disclosure or dissemination of Public Health Information by the City or its employees. Said agreement shall be in a form approved by the Corporation Counsel.

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GOVERNOR CUOMO ON CNN: RULES BETWEEN STATES MUST BE SET FOR CONTROLLING THE CORONAVIRUS

WPCNR CORONAVIRUS REPORT. From the Governor’s Press Office. March 16, 2020:

Governor Andrew Cuomo, appearing on CNN this morning called for standard rules across statelines to control the spread of coronavirus across statelines. Here is the transcript of his remarks to CNN’S John Berman this morning:

Governor Cuomo: We’ve been behind handling this disease from day one. Right? We knew it was in China in November and then we look like we got caught by surprise and we’re always playing catch up. The only way to deal with it a situation like this is to get ahead of it. We need to see the federal government set up to the plate here and set up national rules. 

It makes no sense, you look at your broadcast, all these states doing different things, cities doing different things. It doesn’t work that way. 

In an emergency, someone has to take charge. 

New York State, I’m in charge, that’s the law, because I can’t have one set of rules in New York City, a different rules in Nassau County, surrounding counties. If you close the bars in New York City but don’t close them in Nassau County all it means is everybody drives to Nassau County to a bar. 

So you have to have consolidated, centralized authority. You can’t — it makes no sense for all these states to be doing different things. I make rules. 

People can drive to New Jersey. They can drive to Connecticut. We need the federal government to stand up and say here are the rules. 

And secondly, John, the coming crisis is we’re overwhelming our health care system. That is going to happen. That curve is a wave, and it’s going to break on the hospital system. We need additional beds and we need the army corps of engineers to come in here and retrofit state buildings, dormitories, et cetera for additional hospital beds. And that’s the federal government.

John Berman: We need more beds. We need more ventilators, which is why I want to know what you think of what the Secretary of HHS said over the weekend where he refused to disclose the number of ventilators for, he claims, national security reasons. Listen.

Secretary Azar: We don’t disclose concrete numbers on particular items for national security purposes. But we have many ventilators, thousands and thousands of ventilators in our system.

John Berman: What’s the national security imperative not to tell the American people how many ventilators they have available?

Governor Cuomo: National security imperative is people would get very nervous if they knew how few they had. Thousands and thousands, what does that mean?

We’re looking at an overrun in New York in the tens of thousands. That’s what I said.

We’ve been behind this all along.

The federal government has to step up. Nationwide rules, school closings, bars, whatever and then understand that we have an impending catastrophe when this wave of growth crashes on the hospital system and we don’t have the capacity.

Start now, bring in that Army Corps of engineers. This is what they do. They build. I’ll give them dormitories. Build temporary medical facilities, but they have to do it. I’m not shy, but a state doesn’t have the capacity to build that quickly to that level.

John Berman: True on both counts, you are not shy and a state does not have that capacity. Governor, you keep on saying we have been behind. We are behind, you say. So then how do you assess this proclamation from the President yesterday where he said this virus is under tremendous control? Listen.

President Trump: There’s a very contagious virus. It’s incredible, but it’s something we have tremendous control of.

John Berman: How does that describe the reality you see?

Governor Cuomo: Look, I think this is not the time to be hypercritical, right?

I think the generous view is the President is trying to keep people calm, which is a very legitimate function for leadership.

I’m trying to keep my people calm. I’m trying to say look at the facts because the fear is a bigger problem than the virus right now.

My way of keeping people calm is not telling them placebos. I tell them the facts. I tell them the truth. I tell them what we’re doing. I say we have the capacity to do it.

And I go through the numbers and the facts and I say it’s going to be okay.

I don’t think it’s enough just to say it’s going to be fine and tell people what they don’t believe. I don’t believe that makes people calm. I believe it makes them more nervous because they doubt what they’re hearing.

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