New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Monday that New York doesn’t “need any additional ventilators right now.”
It’s a marked reversal from the last couple of weeks. Cuomo has repeatedly complained about a major shortage of medical ventilators that would be needed when the “peak” of critical coronavirus infections swamped the state’s hospitals.
Implicit in those complaints was the allegation that President Donald Trump and the federal government weren’t doing enough to help the state get prepared.
“Everyone has what they need”
Cuomo had previously insisted that his state needed upwards of 30,000 to 40,000 more ventilators. But so far, the estimate isn’t even close — as of Tuesday, only 4,600 people were on ventilators, according to The New York Times.
Through a variety of efforts — including seizing unused ventilators from lightly-impacted areas of the state, as well as receiving donations — New York hospitals now have access to several thousand more of the life-saving machines.
“There is no hospital that needs ventilators that doesn’t have ventilators, there is no hospital that needs PPE [personal protective equipment] that doesn’t have it in the state system,” the governor said on Monday.
“Have we saved everyone? No,” he continued. “But have we lost anyone because we didn’t have a bed or we didn’t have a ventilator, or we didn’t have health care staff? No.”
“Everyone has what they need,” Cuomo added. “There is no one who said I’m out of ventilators, and I have a critical need, who hasn’t gotten one.”
New York hit hard by coronavirus
So far, New York has been the hardest-hit part of the country by the coronavirus outbreak.
As the total number of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. neared 13,000 on Tuesday, over 4,000 of those deaths were in New York City, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Offering a glimmer of hope, authorities said that although the city saw a record number of deaths Tuesday, there are signs that the spread may be slowing, thanks to rigorous social distancing practices.
“To the extent that we see a flattening or a possible plateau, that’s because of what we are doing and we have to keep doing it,” Cuomo said.