New York City remains the center of America’s COVID-19 crisis, with almost 1,600 people having succumbed to the Chinese virus as of Friday afternoon. What’s more, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) had some disturbing news regarding the city’s supply of medical equipment.
“At the current burn rate, we have about six days of ventilators in our stockpile,” the governor informed reporters at a briefing on Thursday.
Dire situation in New York
He explained that his state has 2,200 ventilators in its stockpile, but pointed out that an average of 350 people new patients show up every day needing one.
The governor went on to underscore the severity of this situation, stressing, “If the person comes in and needs a ventilator and you don’t have a ventilator, the person dies.”
While Cuomo characterized these facts as “troubling,” he acknowledged that steps can be taken to mitigated the shortfall. These include converting anesthesia machines into ventilators as well as using a single ventilator with a splitter to service 2 patients simultaneously.
We do not have enough ventilators.
I am signing an Executive Order allowing the state to take ventilators and redistribute to hospitals in need.
The National Guard will be mobilized to move ventilators to where they are urgently required to save lives.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) April 3, 2020
The governor has stated that New Yorkers shouldn’t count on additional help from the federal government, indicating instead that the state is “on our own.”
He did say that he would “plead” for more help if it became available and that federal authorities were “very aware of our situation” after his recent meeting with President Donald Trump.
Trump: “New York has gotten far more than any other State”
For his part, Trump pushed back on Twitter against claims from New York’s Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer that his administration wasn’t doing enough to help the Empire State.
“New York has gotten far more than any other state, including hospitals & a hospital ship, but no matter what, always complaining,” Trump said in a tweet on Thursday.
“It wouldn’t matter if you got ten times what was needed, it would never be good enough,” he continued. “Unlike other states, New York unfortunately got off to a late start.
“You should have pushed harder,” the president went on. “Stop complaining & find out where all of these supplies are going. Cuomo working hard!”