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White House coronavirus coordinator: All governors and mayors need to ‘prepare like New York is preparing now’

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The White House coronavirus task force coordinator said Sunday that the administration is “asking every single governor and every single mayor to prepare like New York is preparing now.”

Dr. Deborah Birx told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that state and city leaders need to know where each hospital in their jurisdiction is located, where the surgical centers are, where “every piece of equipment is in the state” and how to move equipment around the state “based on need.”

{mosads}“So it’s not just what you have inside your doors today. It’s how you can surge and move things around,” she said. “We know this epidemic moves in waves. Each city will have its own epidemic curve. And so we can move between states, we can move within states, to meet the needs of everyone.”

But Birx emphasized that states and metro areas need to react because of the quickly increasing number of cases and deaths across the country.

“No state, no metro area will be spared, and the sooner we react and the sooner the states and the metro areas react and ensure that they put in full mitigation, at the same time understanding exactly what their hospitals need, then we’ll be able to move forward together and protect the most Americans,” she said. 

When NBC’s Chuck Todd questioned how states would go about obtaining new medical equipment, she said the federal government is “working very hard” to locate and place ventilators. 

“But we need states at the same time to look where all of their ventilators are, including outpatient surgical center,” she said. 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has taken direct actions to combat the spread of the coronavirus initiating a stay-at-home order and working with the federal government to obtain more ventilators and temporary hospitals. The state has been hit hard by the pandemic with more than 52,300 cases and more than 880 deaths. 

The president considered implementing a quarantine for New York’s tri-state area but ended up issuing a travel advisory for the area Saturday.

Tags Chuck Todd Coronavirus COVID-19 New York Sunday shows ventilators

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