Mar 24, 2020 - Health

Cuomo pleads with federal government to supply New York with ventilators

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on the federal government on Tuesday to supply ventilators, saying the state is in dire need of tens of thousands of machines to manage the coronavirus outbreak. The state expects to receive about 4,000 ventilators per Vice President Mike Pence.

Why it matters: New York state has become the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic, with 25,665 cases, and Cuomo said time is running out to wait on domestic production of medical supplies.

Cuomo said there are two methods to obtain the ventilators, recommending the U.S. government either use the federal Defense Production Act or that Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar tap into the federal stockpile to provide 20,000 machines.

"I understand the federal government's point that many companies have come forward and said we want to help, and General Motors and Ford and people are willing to get into the ventilator business. It does us no good if they start to create a ventilator in three weeks or four weeks or five weeks. We're looking at an apex of 14 days. ... The [Defense Production Act] can actually help companies because the federal government can say, 'Look, I need you to go into this business. I will contract with you today for x number of ventilators. Here's the startup capital you need.' ... Not to exercise that power is inexplicable to me."

What's happening: The state has 7,000 ventilators and needs 30,000. New York already mandated nonessential businesses close and ordered residents to stay home.

  • “I will take personal responsibility for transporting the ventilators” elsewhere in the country after New York reaches its apex, Cuomo said. “I’ll send ventilators, I’ll send health care workers, our professionals.”

Editor's note: This story was updated wit Vice President Pence's statement that New York will receive 4,000 ventilators in the next two days.

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The race to make more masks and ventilators

Fabric cutouts that will become masks are lined up at Xtreme Pro Apparel on March 23 in Broomfield, Colo. Photo: Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post

The U.S. is scouring the globe and leaning on non-medical manufacturers to help overcome shortages of ventilators, masks, gloves and gowns.

Why it matters: Nearly 90% of U.S. mayors who responded to a national survey on coronavirus preparedness said they lack sufficient tests kits, face masks and other protective equipment for their emergency responders and medical workers, the Washington Post reports.

Go deeperArrowMar 28, 2020 - Health

Trump: Some hospitals are hoarding ventilators

President Trump during his coronavirus briefing at the White House on Sunday. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump claimed during a briefing at the White House on Sunday that some hospitals and health care workers were "hoarding equipment, including ventilators" and suggested reporters and states look into the increased demand for masks.

Details: Trump's comments drew criticism from Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and the Greater New York Hospital Association, which said health care workers "deserve better than their president suggesting that PPE is 'going out the back door' of New York hospitals," in reference to Trump singling out an unnamed state hospital to question why they were using so many masks.

Go deeperArrowMar 30, 2020 - Health

Ford, GE aim to make 50,000 ventilators in 100 days

A Model A-E ventilator, left, and a simple test lung. The ventilator uses a design that operates on air pressure without the need for electricity, addressing the needs of most COVID-19 patients. Photo: Ford

Ford and GE Healthcare announced plans on Monday to build a simplified ventilator design licensed from a Florida medical technology company, with the goal of producing 50,000 machines by early July, and up to 30,000 a month thereafter, to fight the coronavirus.

Why it matters: The companies are moving in "Trump time" to meet demand for urgently needed ventilators, says White House Defense Production Act Coordinator Peter Navarro. But with deaths expected to peak in two weeks, the machines won't arrive in large numbers in time to help the hardest-hit cities.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 20 hours ago - Health