Cuomo says New York toll 'beyond staggering already'

The naval hospital ship Comfort has arrived with its 1,000-bed facility to take on patients as hospitals have been pushed to the brink.
6:55 | 03/31/20

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Transcript for Cuomo says New York toll 'beyond staggering already'
Good evening. It's great to start another week with all of you at home. We begin with the widening toll of coronavirus across the country. President trump saying challenging times are ahead for the next 30 days. Coming after the president reversing course, with the doctors saying even if we do it all perfectly, the social distancing guidelines, 200,000 Americans could still die from coronavirus. The numbers soaring. In two weeks' time, we've gone from 4,000 to more than 159,000 more than 359 people have died. About 1 in 3 Americans now under restrictions. In New York City, the U.S. Navy hospital ship comfort has pulled into port with 1,000 beds to help hospitals that are overwhelmed. A field hospital is now up in central park. And this grim image in Brooklyn, a body loaded into a refrigerated truck. New York's governor saying it's beyond staggering. Hospitals in New Orleans, Detroit, and Chicago, stretched to the limit. New questions about wearing masks in the country. If Americans have one, should they be wearing it? Would it help? What the scientists are now saying, and what the president said moments ago. We'll get it to it all tonight. We begin with Tom llamas, leading us off. Please stay inside and pray for these people. Reporter: Tonight, the governor of New York says the situation is painfully clear. And these images show it, a body loaded into refrigerated truck outside this Brooklyn hospital. The city bracing for a mounting death toll. More than 1,200 lives lost. We've lost over 1,000 new yorkers. To me, we're beyond staggering already. We've reached staggering. Reporter: Help sailing in today. The naval hospital ship comfort pulling into New York harbor. The 1,000-bed facility ready to take on extra non-covid patients. We know how to do this. But we've never done it in someplace like this before. Reporter: In Manhattan, a new field hospital specifically for covid-19 patients. The group samaritan's purse building building it in just days. Starting tomorrow this is going to be a working intensive care unit in the middle of central park. Complete with hospital beds, ventilators, overhead lighting, even a negative pressure tube, sucking all the contaminated air out, making sure the room is sterilized. As New York is pushed to the brink, health experts warning the potential U.S. Death toll in the coming weeks could soar as high as 100,000 to 200,000. I think it's entirely conceivable that if we do not mitigate to the extent that we're trying to do, that you could reach that number. Reporter: The president forced to reverse an earlier proposed plan to reopen the county by Easter. Now extending social distancing guidelines to April 30th. Dr. Anthony Fauci saying the task force argued strongly with the president to extend them and the president listened. Challenging times are ahead for the next 30 days, and this is a very vital 30 days. We are sort of putting it all on the line this 30 days. Reporter: Tonight we're learning one of the latest victims is pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. James Goodrich from New York's montefiore medical center. The world-renowned doctor making medical history when he successfully separated conjoined twin boys during a 27-hour surgery. Doctors across the country struggling to help families unable to visit their loved ones in the icu. We make it a point to call families twice a day. But I can't imagine being that person on the other end waiting for the phone call. Never knowing what news you're going to get. Reporter: An emotional toll on nurses, who are so often the critical link between patient and family. I just came from a patient's room. He's actively dying, positive diagnosis of covid-19, and his family can't come, so I had to facetime his family. It was just so heartbreaking. Reporter: In New Jersey, eight patients dying at one nursing home. And 911 call centers stretched thin as well. In New York, a record 6,000 calls in one day. First responders also hit hard. Over 5,000 members of the NYPD are out sick. More than 900 officers and 260 firefighters testing positive. And now in New York City, a $500 fine for ignoring social distancing rules. The police and all our agencies are authorized to use fines. We've given enough warning. Reporter: Tougher penalties in Maryland as well, where cases surged 400% in just the last week. 66 residents infected at one nursing home. The governor ordering residents to stay at home or risk up to a $5,000 fine or jail time. This region is about to be hit with the virus in the same way that some other major metropolitan areas have been. Reporter: In Louisiana, officials say they need 14,000 ventilators and fear they could run out next week. If the metros and rural areas don't take care now, by the time you see it, it has penetrated your community pretty significantly. Reporter: Cases spiking in cities like Chicago and Detroit. This convention center in Detroit to be turned into a 900-bed hospital. And in Philadelphia this arena at temple university transformed into an overflow hospital after cases there top 1,000. Tonight in Los Angeles, the naval hospital the mercy already taking on extra patients to ease pressure on hospitals. That image from Los Angeles, we also took note of the image behind you today in New York Tom is in front of the comfort tonight. We know this will be for other patients, as the hospitals in the city try to deal with the patients with coronavirus. When will the ship be able to take some patients? Reporter: I'm told it will start tomorrow. It's a massive ship, it got here earlier than expected. One more note, you said more than 250 people died in new York. And every six minutes, someone in New York right now is dying of covid-19. David? Just impossible to fathom. Our thanks to you, Tom, tonight.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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