ALBANY, N.Y. — The Army Corps of Engineers should be mobilized to help fight the coronavirus by equipping facilities like military bases or college dormitories to serve as temporary medical centers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.
In an opinion piece published Sunday in The New York Times, the Democrat called on President Donald Trump to authorize states to expand testing capabilities, set federal standards for shutting down commerce and schools, and mobilize the military to bolster medical treatment capabilities.
“States cannot build more hospitals, acquire ventilators or modify facilities quickly enough,” Cuomo wrote, saying the expertise and equipment of the Army Corps is “our best hope.”
Cuomo said Saturday that more than 600 New Yorkers have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. Two people, ages 82 and 65, have died. Cuomo said he believes thousands of New Yorkers, possibly tens of thousands, already have the disease.
The virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover.