New York is quickly becoming an epicenter for the COVID-19 coronavirus in the United States, while state and local governments are scrambling to address the concerns of sick or worried residents. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wrote an open letter to Donald Trump in the New York Times this week, urging the president to assist the state in its growing outbreak, and calling for military troops to build makeshift hospitals for the incoming wave of coronavirus patients.
Cuomo announced in a previous press conference that the state will be producing 100,000 gallons of hand sanitizer for schools, prisons, transportation systems, and other government agencies, but admitted that the state would be relying on prison labor to produce the items.
The sanitizers will not be available to the general public, only for specific government agencies, and they will have to pay at least $6 for each bottle, although Cuomo promises that it will be a “superior” quality than those typically seen on the market.
They will be manufactured by inmates at the Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Washington county, which is near the state’s border with Vermont.
Businesses across the state may be forced to close down, as lawmakers are warning against people crowding into small areas like bars and restaurants.
Similar measures are being considered across the entire country, as confirmed cases and deaths continue to rise in different areas. New York has had 3 official deaths from the illness and under 1,000 confirmed cases, but officials estimate that these numbers are far higher due to the fact that they can’t test all of the people who are sick.
Testing is one of the main issues that Cuomo brought up in his open letter to the president, and many other regions in the United States are also facing similar challenges with properly diagnosing coronavirus patients.