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Trump says 1,000 soldiers deploy to New York to fight coronavirus

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President Donald Trump addresses the Coronavirus Task Force daily briefing in the White House press room in Washington, United States, April 4, 2020.

Joshua Lott | Reuters

President Donald Trump announced on Saturday that 1,000 military personnel will be deployed to New York to help fight the coronavirus pandemic and warned that the coming week will likely be the hardest one yet.

“It will probably be the hardest week between this week and next week – and there will be many deaths, unfortunately,” said the president during a press briefing in the White House.

Trump’s language echoed New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who said earlier today that the state had only seven days to prepare for the coronavirus apex as it struggled to increase hospital capacity and access to medical equipment.

It is unclear how and where military personnel will be used in New York, the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States. The president earlier this month activated the National Guard in California, New York, and the state. from Washington.

“We are now removing people from our military. We have done it but now we are doing it on a broader basis,” said Trump.

The administration will potentially send additional medical personnel to the state as cases continue to increase and hospitals are increasingly submerged.

“They go to war,” said Trump. “They are entering a battle they never really trained for.”

New York City reported 305 new deaths on Friday, marking the largest one-day jump to date and bringing the death toll to at least 1,867. The city has confirmed at least 57,159 cases and represents approximately one-quarter of confirmed cases in the country.Cuomo said the state had 113,704 cases in total.

Military personnel run the Javits center in the city, which has been turned into a makeshift hospital. The Pentagon has also deployed the USNS Comfort, a naval hospital ship that is supposed to accommodate uninfected patients to ease the burden on city hospitals.

New York officials have implored the Trump administration to recruit more medical staff to work in strained medical facilities. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has repeatedly asked the federal government to create a program of national enrollment for doctors and nurses in New York and across the country.

Trump has accused state governors of asking for more supplies than necessary, including fans and personal protective equipment. Projections suggest that New York may not have enough life-saving machines by next week.

“We have to take care of a big country, not just parts of the country,” said the president at the press conference.

The Chinese government has donated 1,000 fans to New York. The state of Oregon also sends 140 fans.

There are at least 300,915 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States and at least 8,162 people have died, according to a compilation by Johns Hopkins University.

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