Gov. Andrew Cuomo Admits Stockpile of Thousands of Unused Ventilators
CHARLIE SPIERING | 27 Mar 2020
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo acknowledged Friday the state did have a stockpile of unused ventilators, despite his complaints the federal government was not sending enough.
Cuomo responded to a comment from President Donald Trump on Twitter that there were thousands of ventilators in New York not being used.
“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’s comments demonstrate there is not an immediate shortage in ventilators in the city, despite alarming reports.
“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,” Cuomo said.
The governor has repeatedly complained that the federal government is not sending enough ventilators to New York.
On Tuesday, Pence said that the federal government had sent 2,000 ventilators to New York and an additional 2,000 more on Wednesday.
But on Friday, Cuomo explained expert projections showed he would need up to 140,000 beds and 40,000 ventilators.
“I don’t operate here on opinion, I operate on facts and on data and on numbers and on projections,” he said.
In an interview on Fox News on Thursday night, Trump appeared skeptical that New York would need 40,000 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.
The topic of ventilators appeared to be on the president’s mind for most of Friday, as cable news repeatedly focused on a “shortage” and suggested that the president do more by invoking the Defense Production Act.