New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was hoping to alleviate what he said was an approaching “a total overwhelming” of the health care system.
J.B. Pritzker, the governor of Illinois, home to 12.6 million people, told reporters at an afternoon briefing that is still underway: “To avoid the loss of potentially tens of thousands of lives, we must enact an immediate stay-at-home order.”
People who break the Connecticut order could be fined, Gov. Ned Lamont said.
Connecticut’s order for its 3.5 million residents goes into effect Monday at 8 p.m. In Illinois, it starts at 5 p.m. Saturday.
“You go out to the Midwest, you go out to other locations, they’re watching on television, but they don’t have the same problems. They don’t have, by any means, the same problems,” Trump said Friday.
“This is the most drastic action we can take,” said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose state of 19.5 million residents has the most confirmed cases of any state at more than 7,000.
“These are not helpful hints. … There will be a civil fine and mandatory closure for any business that is not in compliance” starting Sunday, Cuomo said.
Cuomo described the measures as an attempt to “close the valve” of sick patients to hospitals because the increasing number of cases “portends a total overwhelming of our” health care system.
Echoing other state and local leaders, Cuomo pleaded with businesses to manufacture or otherwise donate more equipment, such as masks for health care workers and ventilators for the sick.
The nation also is grappling with the economic consequences of encouraging people to stay home.
Hospitals desperately need more supplies, doctors and politicians say
Doctors and state and local politicians nationwide, meanwhile, are warning that hospitals do not have enough supplies of masks, ventilators and other equipment needed to protect physicians and help patients.
Details about how the federal government is trying to influence production are hazy.
“We need certain equipment that … states aren’t able to get by themselves … like the masks, like the ventilators,” Trump said early Friday afternoon at the White House.
Speaking alongside Trump, Vice President Mike Pence teased a “a major procurement from the federal government of N95 masks” coming over the weekend. 3M said in a statement on Friday it has doubled its global output of N95 respirators.
Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that “we just unlocked 90 percent more of the masks than we had just two days ago.”
“That would be like saying that you’re sending your troops to war and that you’re letting them get their own body armor and helmets,” she said Friday morning. “We need the federal government to stand up a response to distribute this appropriately.”
It might turn out to be effective, but more data is needed to show that it is useful and safe under the conditions of this disease, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, at Friday’s White House news conference.
He told NBC earlier Friday that Americans probably will need to avoid crowds for weeks.
“If you look at the trajectory of the curves of outbreaks in other areas, it’s at least going to be several weeks,” Fauci said on NBC’s “Today” show.
Why California issued a general stay-at-home order
Spurring California’s general stay-at-home order, Newsom said, were models showing that the virus could sicken 25 million of California’s nearly 40 million people in eight weeks. That could require the hospitalization of more than 19,000 people beyond the state’s current capacity, he said.
Five states — Connecticut, Florida, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — announced other restrictions Friday. Grooming businesses, like barbershops, nail salons and piercing shops, will be closed to the public starting Saturday at 8 p.m.
Economists predict big increase in unemployment claim filings
The country is only just beginning to understand the economic consequences of the pandemic.
Although a government report showed 281,000 Americans filed for their first week of unemployment benefits last week — a 33% jump over the week before — economists are predicting the next weekly report will be much worse.
Medical supply shortages loom
That includes using masks beyond their designated shelf life and reusing masks during encounters with different patients, cautioning however that not all types of masks can be reused.
As a last resort, the agency said health care providers could consider using “homemade masks” — such as bandanas or scarves — to care for coronavirus patients, ideally in combination with a face shield.
The guidance comes as hospitals and medical care workers have begun to sound the alarm on a rapidly vanishing inventory of supplies.
Governors highlighted those concerns Thursday to the President, with many saying their main worry was that there isn’t enough personal protection equipment available in their states — like masks, disposable gowns and other supplies.
CNN’s Steve Almasy, Elizabeth Joseph, Annalyn Kurtz, Kevin Liptak, Katie Lobosco, Alexandra Meeks, Veronica Stracqulursi and Amanda Watts contributed to this report.