At the moment, we are probably at the apex of the pandemic in New York City, though the data’s somewhat mixed. It took us a long time to get up to the apex, and it’s going to take us a long time to get down. But it’s not too soon to start building for the next phase. When we can get the number of cases down to a point at which we can start to identify every single one, trace contacts, offer to quarantine when helpful, and contain this — then we can begin to reopen the broader economy.

This is going to require an unprecedented new public health system that will expand testing all over the city, with a focus on low-income communities of color, which have not had equal access to testing until now. It will require thousands of people to work on contact tracing. It’ll require offering hotels to people who can’t remain safely at home and a new system to transport people with symptoms because they can’t ride mass transit safely. It will require a new system of telemedicine due to people quarantining at home. This is an enormous and expensive undertaking, and we’re going to need federal help to do it…

Testing for the virus is the kind of thing you have to do on an ongoing basis. You could potentially test many people regularly — possibly even, in the case of health care workers, daily — because people can get infected at any point. We probably need to increase testing for the virus by 10 or 20 times where it is today. Even at today’s relatively low level of testing, we are running out of supplies.