If you have been following the coronavirus news, then you know that New York has been hit hard, with almost 50,000 confirmed cases and over 600 deaths. Chances are that you have probably seen television footage of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) complaining that the federal government hasn’t been doing enough to help out New York and saying that the state’s hospitals need more ventilators.
Now, in what must have been a humiliating exchange — one that has some New Yorkers furious — Cuomo, after being challenged by President Donald Trump, has admitted that New York already has a stockpile of unused ventilators.
Trump presses Cuomo
Apparently fed up with Cuomo and his claims that the federal government isn’t helping New York, President Trump took to Twitter on Friday to combat this notion.
“Thousand of Federal Government (delivered) Ventilators found in New York storage. N.Y. must distribute NOW!” the president wrote.
At first, this appeared to just be a follow up on reports that were issued earlier in the week when Vice President Mike Pence stated that the federal government sent 4,000 ventilators to New York over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday. Accordingly, those following the story probably weren’t expected anything more than more complaining by Cuomo.
That’s when Cuomo offered up a sudden plot twist.
This is when Cuomo responded to the president’s tweet by admitting that New York, indeed, does have a stockpile of unused ventilators.
“Yes, they’re in a stockpile because that’s where they are supposed to be, because we don’t need them yet,” Cuomo said. “We need them for the apex, the apex isn’t here, so we’re gathering them in a stockpile.”
Cuomo continued on with his explanation: “We don’t need them today, because we’re not at capacity today, that’s why they’re not deployed because they’re not needed.”
“I don’t operate here on opinion, I operate on facts and on data and on numbers and on projections,” Cuomo said.
Apparently, those projections show that New York will need 140,000 beds and 40,000 ventilators — although President Trump believes that “a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they’re going to be.”
President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act on Friday, ordering GM to produce large quantities of ventilators. Other automakers, including Ford and Tesla, are also planning to begin producing ventilators, which are urgently needed as the number of severe coronavirus cases rises.