NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell reiterated on FOX News that city leaders were told COVID-19 cases were contained as late as Lundi Gras.
When asked if she would have canceled Fat Tuesday, she said hindsight is 20/20, but federal leaders did not know the severity of the outbreak.
“I’m hoping the federal government would have provided even more leadership based on the science and data that was being communicated. On Lundi Gras, we were hearing from the federal government that the virus was contained,” she said.
Mardi Gras was on Feb. 25.
Cantrell also said state and local leaders are hoping to get more medical support.
“As for the need of PPE (personal protection equipment), it has been a need for New Orleans and the state since our first case on March 9. Our first responders, or medical personnel, even as it relates to our mortuaries, our coroner’s offices, our funeral homes, we’re all in need of PPE and that continues to grow,” Cantrell said.
The city plans to move 3,000 patients out of the hospital and into a field medical facility at the Morial Convention center to make way for others who need emergency care.
“We are preparing for April 7,” she said.
Cantrell and Gov. John Bel Edwards are still trying to get a clear picture on the $1.8 billion federal dollars promised to Louisiana.
“We want to know desperately how that will be fully implemented so we can get resources to the people who need them most on the ground,” she said.
Cantrell said that more than 110,000 hospitality workers need food and financial assistance.
“We appreciate the access, but we really want the results and the resources to hit the ground,” the mayor said.
The U.S. Surgeon General said that New Orleans could have New York numbers in the next week when it comes to COVID-19 cases.
The Louisiana Department of Health is reporting 3,315 cases of the COVID-19 virus in the state with 137 deaths as of Saturday afternoon. Nearly 1,300 cases have been reported in Orleans Parish.
Cantrell said the focus now should be on flattening the curve and getting resources.
She said the question about Mardi Gras is moot at this point.
“We can’t continue to look back, we need to look forward,” she said.
Most, if not all parishes have reported cases of COVID-19. The official count is 56.
“We really do need the support,” the mayor said.