Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York is estimating that the state could need up to 40,000 ventilators given the progression of the COVID-19 virus in the state, which has become the epicenter of the outbreak in the country. In a press event on Tuesday, Cuomo, fuming, claimed that FEMA provided his state with 400 ventilators when he needed 26,000 more. The state currently owns 12,000.
“What am I going to do with 400 ventilators when I need 30,000?” he said. “You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die because you only sent 400 ventilators.” He blames Trump for the current mess the state is in: “The president said it’s a war … well, then act like it’s a war!”
Trump, however, seems to think Cuomo and the hospital staff of New York are lying. “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. “I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators. You go into major hospitals sometimes, and they’ll have two ventilators. And now all of a sudden they’re saying, ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?’”
Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, agrees, saying that New York had informed her that they had enough ventilators. She says the state has plenty of ventilators in “other parts of New York state that don‘t have any infections right now.”
She attempted to stifle panic surrounding hospitals across the country considering do-not-resuscitate procedures amidst the overwhelming burden being placed on the healthcare system with little aid from the federal government. “Please, for the reassurance of people around the world, to wake up this morning and look at people talking about creating DNR situations—do not resuscitate situations for patients—there is no situation in the United States right now that warrants that kind of discussion.”
Tensions continue to grow not only in America, but also in the world as Italy surpasses China for the most coronavirus-related deaths. Upon a slew of testing last week, the USA pushed past both in number of diagnosed cases. China’s outbreak has considerably slowed, reporting around 3,500 current active cases. The country’s lockdown procedure has been largely lauded given its containment of the virus. Despite this, the virus ravaged the country for a good two months. Who knows what will happen, then, in the USA if our cases are now surpassing China’s and we refuse to follow suit on their procedures.