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Cuomo: New York Has Only Six Days Of Ventilators Left In Stockpile

Topline: Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a press conference on Thursday that New York only has six days’ worth of ventilators left in its stockpile, as the number of coronavirus cases in the state has now risen to over 90,000 people.

  • “At the current burn rate, we have about six days of ventilators left in our stockpile,” Governor Cuomo warned on Thursday; New York’s predicted apex could hit anywhere between 7 to 30 days, he said.
  • “Yes, the burn rate of ventilators is troubling, but we have all these extraordinary measures that I believe if push comes to shove would put us in fairly good shape,” Cuomo said, referring to backups like BiPAP machines or anesthesia machines as alternatives to ventilators when needed.
  • New York, the new epicenter of the global outbreak, now has a total of 92,381 confirmed cases, with another 8,669 reported overnight. Nearly 52,000 cases are concentrated in New York City alone.
  • Cuomo also cited a “troubling” surge in cases out on Long Island, in Nassau and Suffolk counties, which both reported over 1,000 new infected patients since yesterday.
  • “The federal government is very aware of our situation,” Cuomo said, adding that he had spoken with President Trump again this morning. “I don’t think the federal government is in a position to provide ventilators to the extent that the nation may need them.”
  • “That’s why our attitude here is we’re on our own,” Cuomo said, reiterating that he was doing everything in his power to acquire more supplies and prepare for New York’s looming apex, which he calls “the battle of the mountaintop.”

Big number: 2,373. That’s how many people have died from the coronavirus in New York so far. The death toll has been steadily rising, jumping by 432 since yesterday.

Key background: Cuomo also called it the “cruelest irony” that the U.S. is now depending on China for production of ventilators and crucial medical supplies. The New York governor has repeatedly urged the Trump administration to provide more aid by invoking the Defense Production Act to mobilize private industry. “I don’t have a New York Defense Production Act,” Cuomo said on Thursday, explaining why he couldn’t order companies to manufacture much-needed medical supplies or ventilators. But he did again urge businesses to think of the situation as a possible opportunity: “If you have the capacity to make these products, we will purchase them, and we will pay a premium and we will pay to convert or transition your manufacturing facility to a facility that can do this,” he said. “But we need it, like, now.”

Tangent: When asked how he responded to Trump’s recent comments—criticizing New York’s late response to the virus but praising Cuomo’s efforts, the New York governor replied, “I don’t know, I don’t know how you can square those two statements.” He did tell reporters, however, “I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts that we end up buying more ventilators than any state in the country—we were very aggressive since day one.”

Source: Forbes Business

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