New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said on Wednesday at a press conference that he would start giving away ventilators to other states during the coronavirus crisis.
“We’ve stabilized our healthcare situation. New York had one of the earlier curves. There are other places in this country that are now seeing increases in the death rate,” Cuomo said, explaining why he was ready to donate ventilators.
Cuomo announced he would send 100 ventilators to Michigan and 50 ventilators to Maryland.
Cuomo spent weeks spreading the alarm that there might not be enough ventilators for New York, demanding that the federal government provide him 30,000 to 40,000 ventilators for his stockpile.
“You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die,” Cuomo said in a press conference in March, in a strong message to President Donald Trump and the federal government.
Trump was widely criticized for challenging the numbers in March, asserting in an interview that Cuomo probably did not need that many ventilators.
“I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they’re going to be,” he said in an interview with Sean Hannity. “I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators.”
Recent Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) models showed that New York would need less than 6,000 ventilators even at the peak of the coronavirus infection. The net change in intubations in New York is now falling at a steady rate.
The federal government sent 4,000 ventilators to New York, but Cuomo still acquired another 1,000 ventilators from China and even deployed the National Guard to seize and redistribute ventilators in his state.
The governor said Wednesday that he was grateful for other states donating ventilators to his state but that he was ready to return the favor.
“I said at the time, New Yorkers are generous, and they are grateful and gracious, and when you need help, we will be there for you,” he said.