The governor of New York state on Tuesday said officials had “underestimated” the coronavirus and needed to prepare for the apex of the outbreak.
“I’m tired of being behind this virus. We’ve been behind this virus from day one,” Andrew Cuomo told a news briefing.
“We underestimated this virus. It’s more powerful, it’s more dangerous than we expected.”
Coronavirus cases surged to 75,795 in New York, while the death toll jumped nearly 30 per cent overnight to 1,550, Cuomo said, warning that the state was “still headed up the mountain.”
The new cases mean New York has surpassed China’s Hubei province which reported 67,801 cases since the virus emerged there in December, according to John Hopkins University data.
The New York governor also said his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, had tested positive for coronavirus.
“He’s going to be quarantined in his basement at home,” Cuomo said of his brother, after calling the virus a “great equaliser”.
The governor said the health care system was “dealing with a war we’ve never dealt with before,” and that doctors and nurses were facing “immense physical and emotional stress.”
The lights of New York City’s Empire State Building began shining red on Monday to honour “emergency workers on the front line of the fight” against the virus, according to a post from the iconic building’s Twitter account.
In the U.S., there have been more than 3,400 deaths and some 165,900 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.