The Four Seasons Hotel in New York City will provide health care workers responding to the coronavirus pandemic with free lodging, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.
Ty Warner, the founder and chairman of the company that owns the luxury hotel, said in a statement that he offered the hotel for the city to use after watching Cuomo’s press conferences.
“Our health care workers are working tirelessly on the front lines of this crisis. Many of those working in New York City have to travel long distances to and from their homes after putting in 18-hour days,” Warner said.
“They need a place close to work where they can rest and regenerate,” he continued. “I heard Governor Cuomo’s call to action during one of his press conferences, and there was no other option for us but do whatever we could to help.”
Pat Kane, a registered nurse and the executive director of the New York State Nurses Association, thanked Warner for “stepping up.”
“It means a lot to see people helping first responders who are working day and night during this worldwide pandemic,” Kane said in a statement.
By Thursday evening, the Plaza Hotel, St. Regis New York, and Yotel had volunteered to “provide their facilities for non-critical care patients or medical personnel,” Cuomo said. The Room Mate Grace Hotel and the Wythe Hotel said they would offer free rooms to medical workers responding to the pandemic.
New York City health care workers are currently inundated with COVID-19-infected patients as the city scrambles to obtain the 30,000 ventilators and 140,000 hospital beds needed to keep up with the demand. One doctor at Elmhurst Hospital Center told BuzzFeed that “it feels like being thrown into the fire.”
Cuomo warned on Thursday that the cases of coronavirus in the city will peak in “14 to 20 days,” stressing that the state must strengthen its hospital capacity and have access to more medical supplies.
“We’re not slowing it, and it’s accelerating on its own,” said Cuomo, before comparing the disease’s spread to not a “freight train” but a “bullet train.”
New York City’s Javits Convention Center is currently being retrofitted to act as an extra hospital.
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