President Trump appeared on Fox News and pulled out an op-ed by a former Lt Governor of New York that accused Cuomo of refusing to buy 16,000 ventilators in 2015 after a committee recommended it.
Trump and the Cuomo family go way back and now they are having a mini-feud, but they work well together in private, despite the shots they take at each other in public.
The truth is that after the H1N pandemic, the Obama administration saw the need to create a stockpile of ventilators but they only bought around 16,000.
They had no idea that a situation like this was coming so it’s not fair to blame President Trump. It’s also not fair to blame Cuomo because even if he had made the purchase in 2015, he would still be short.
The real solutions have not changed – find a vaccine and ramp up American production of key supplies. On those fronts Trump has moved – we are testing multiple drug therapies as well as multiple vaccines and American business is ramping up.
This is part of the report that President Trump referenced on Fox News:
Hospitals in New York are running short. To his credit, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is doing his best, but he admits “you can’t find available ventilators no matter how much you’re willing to pay right now, because there is literally a global run on ventilators.”
It’s a little late. Several years ago, after learning that the Empire State’s stockpile of medical equipment had 16,000 fewer ventilators than the 18,000 New Yorkers would need in a severe pandemic, state public-health leaders came to a fork in the road.
They could have chosen to buy more ventilators to back up the supplies hospitals maintain. Instead, the health commissioner, Howard Zucker, assembled a task force for rationing the ventilators they already had.
In 2015, that task force came up with rules that will be imposed when ventilators run short. Patients assigned a red code will have highest access, and other patients will be assigned green, yellow or blue (the worst), depending on a “triage officer’s” decision.
In truth, a death officer. Let’s not sugar-coat it. It won’t be up to your own doctor.
In 2015, the state could have purchased the additional 16,000 needed ventilators for $36,000 apiece, or a total of $576 million. It’s a lot of money, but in hindsight, spending half a percent of the budget to prepare for pandemic was the right thing to do.
To be fair, governments everywhere stockpiled too little. Washington didn’t do much better: The federal Strategic National Stockpile is undersupplied to meet the coronavirus emergency.
Now the pandemic is actually here. New York’s grim-reaper rules will be applied. New York City’s deputy commissioner for disease control, Demetre Daskalakis, is anticipating “some very serious, difficult decisions.” So far, in Gotham, one of every four people with a confirmed case has been hospitalized, and 44 percent of them have needed a ventilator.