Democrat New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is scrambling to get 30,000 ventilators from the Trump administration, keeping in mind that the peak of the coronavirus could hit New York in 14 days.
Cuomo said New York needs at least 30,000 of the breathing machines to care for the brunt of the coronavirus patients expected to flood New York in the next two weeks.
However, the state has only obtained 7,000 and received 400 ventilators from federal government officials.
“There is no other way for us to get these ventilators,” Cuomo said at a press conference Tuesday, adding that it is an absolute necessity to get the ventilators from the federal government.
Ventilators are in short supply throughout the U.S. and around the world as the coronavirus pandemic rages on. Since coronavirus is a disease of the lungs, the machines help patients who are critically ill and cannot breathe to breathe again.
Cuomo said he needs more ventilators immediately to prepare for the brunt of coronavirus cases to come in two to three weeks, earlier than initial projections estimated.
Cuomo and other governors have pleaded with President Donald Trump for more ventilators from the nation’s stash of medical supplies. There are about 12,700 ventilators in that stash, but Cuomo said his administration has reportedly only received 400.
“What am I going to do with 400 ventilators when I need 30,000?” Cuomo said. “You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die because you only sent 400 ventilators.”
Vice President Mike Pence said during a Tuesday Fox News interview that the federal government is preparing to send 4,000 ventilators to New York in the next two days.
But that was not enough for Cuomo, who urged Trump to use the Defense Production Act to coerce manufacturers into making more ventilators.
“So you’re asking a business to produce what is a sophisticated piece of electronic equipment, a ventilator, and to do it in 14 days. That’s an enormous undertaking. They can’t do that on a voluntary basis,” Cuomo said.
Meanwhile, Tesla and Space X CEO Elon Musk recently announced that he sent 1,200 ventilators from China to the U.S.