New York, N.Y. (WBEN/AP) - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state wants to build four more temporary hospitals in New York City before coronavirus cases peak.
The state is seeking authorization from the Trump administration to add 4,000 beds in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. The hospitals would be constructed at a horse track, a city college, an expo center and a cruise ship terminal.
The requested conversions are part of the state’s broader effort to quickly increase New York’s hospital capacity from 53,000 beds to up to 140,000 beds. The federal government is already constructing a hospital at a Manhattan convention center and a Navy hospital ship is due to arrive Monday in New York City, a global hotspot of the outbreak.
“Were looking far and wide, very creative, aggressive and finding all the space that we can possibly find,” Cuomo said.
President Donald Trump and elected leaders in New York are clashing again over the depth of the state's coronavirus crisis. Trump says he doubts predictions the metropolitan New York City area will need as many as 30,000 breathing machines to treat the ill.
The governor also amended his executive order to shut down nonessential construction. "All non-essential construction must shut down except emergency construction, (e.g. a project necessary to protect health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone until it is safe to shut the site)" says the governor's order.