New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) sounded the alarm at the end of March that the state was severely underprepared for the projected influx of critically ill coronavirus patients.
In a striking reversal of his desperate pleas for federal assistance in procuring more ventilators, Cuomo announced on Wednesday that his state’s situation has “stabilized” and that he would be sending excess equipment to other states in worse shape.
Cuomo excoriated Trump’s decision to send 400 ventilators to New York in March, saying at the time, “What am I going to do with 400 ventilators when I need 30,000? You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die because you only sent 400 ventilators.”
However, more than a few people doubted Cuomo would ever need the 40,000 respirators he was constantly saying he needed in the media. The city’s reports from 2015 stated the state would only need about 16,000 respirators in a pandemic outbreak, so why was Cuomo saying he needed 40,000?
Even then, Trump questioned the alarm being raised by Cuomo. He said during a March 26 press conference, “I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators. You know, you go to major hospitals, sometimes they have two ventilators. Now all of a sudden they’re saying can we order 30,000 ventilators.”
Cuomo insisted that the federal government needed to step up production of the machines for New York, though he refused to dip into the states existing stockpile of 12,000 ventilators, saying that they had to be reserved for the “apex.”
The widely cited Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model predicted that New York would need just under 6,000 ventilators at the peak on April 15. Now, officials and experts are cautiously optimistic that New York has reached that point, and fears of critical shortages are rapidly fading.
Cuomo said during his Wednesday press conference that “we’ve stabilized our health care situation … There are other places in this country that are now seeing increases in the death rate,” and that 150 extra ventilators will be distributed to Michigan and Maryland.
Politicizing the virus
From the outset, this pandemic has been politicized by Democrats. Numerous Democrat governors came forward almost immediately requesting ventilators and masks from the federal government.
Rather than admitting they had let their stockpiles run low, it was almost as if they wanted to put pressure on Trump and expose the fact the national stockpiles were low. This, however, was because the Obama administration failed to replenish the stockpile after the H1N1 outbreak.
Then, earlier this week, New York added almost 4,000 deaths to its previous tally, stating that deaths that occurred in patients that did not receive an official coronavirus diagnosis within the same time frame could likely be attributed to the virus.
The 3,778 new deaths that were added were tagged as “COVID-19 or an equivalent.” These were people that died but were never tested for the virus. We have to ask, why, suddenly, just as New York’s numbers are not only leveling off but declining, did the state decide to almost double its number of reported deaths overnight?