President Donald Trump says his administration is “doing our best for New York” even as Governor Andrew Cuomo warns the state is in danger of not having enough ventilators to help coronavirus-stricken patients in a matter of days.
Trump says New York should have ordered more ventilators years ago. He also notes that the federal government is trying to assist other hot spots, including Louisiana and Michigan
Earlier on Friday, Cuomo signed an executive order allowing the state to take unused ventilators and personal protective equipment from hospitals within the state. The state, which recorded more than 2,900 coronavirus deaths, has been the hardest hit area in the U.S. by the pandemic.
New York City hospitals are filling up with COVID-19 patients, and officials fear they will soon run out of breathing machines for intensive care patients. Cuomo said his executive order will allow the state to redeploy excess ventilators and protective equipment from hospitals and other institutions. He said there could be several hundred excess ventilators.
The governor wants upstate hospitals to loan 20% of their unused ventilators to struggling downstate hospitals. National Guard members will pick up ventilators across the state and institutions that give up equipment will get it back or be reimbursed, he has said.
The number of the people infected in the U.S. exceeded a quarter-million and the death toll climbed past 6,900, with New York state alone accounting for more than 2,900 dead, an increase of over 560 in just one day. Most of the dead are in New York City, where hospitals are swamped with patients. About 15,000 people were hospitalized statewide, most of them in the city.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But for others, especially older adults and people with health problems, it can cause pneumonia. Over 200,000 people have recovered, by Johns Hopkins’ count.