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Chaos in New York, the new epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic

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New York has become the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 38,000 cases and over a thousand deaths.

Temporary tent-hospitals have popped up in Central Park, and the Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo has begged doctors and nurses across the US to travel interstate to help out.

Australian and Brooklyn resident Chris Hew tells Ben Fordham where he lives “the night sky will be permeated with sirens”.

“The city that is usually full of so much energy is pretty dead at the moment.

“You’re allowed to go outside to exercise but most people are afraid of doing that, even.”

Mr Hew says there is a coronavirus death in New York every six minutes – “not the kind of statistics you usually associate with a developed city”.

“The reports out there are that it’s only going to get worse.”

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A Navy hospital ship last seen in New York during the September 11 terror attacks has once again docked in Manhattan.

“It’s really eerie to see it,” says Yana Podroubaeva, who watched USNS Comfort arrive in the harbour from her apartment window.

“Just about everybody I speak to is feeling really sad and depressed.

“Everyone jokes about a lot of corona-babies being made – I fear there’s going to be a lot of divorces.”

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Former Ambassador of Australia to the United States Joe Hockey has been watching the crisis unfold from his home in Washington, DC.

“I just can’t conceive of any other single event that could cause the heartbeat of America to close down,” he tells Ben Fordham.

Mr Hockey believes outbreaks in prisons and military bases, the slow up-take of national border closures, and lack of interstate border closures have contributed to the high death toll.

The reluctance to implement such measures, he says, is in part due to the cultural value placed on personal freedom in the United States.

“It just shows you, I think, Australia has done a really, really good job. It’s very hard, in an open society, to do that.

“Frankly, you guys should be happy about the way it’s gone in Australia.”

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Image: Twitter/Samaritan’s Purse