Mar 29, 2020 - Health

Louisiana on track to exceed ventilator capacity this week, governor says

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said on CBS News' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that his state is at risk of exceeding its ventilator capacity by April 4, stating that he has placed orders for "about 12,000 ventilators" but has thus far only received 192.

Why it matters: Louisiana — and particularly New Orleans — is the site of one of the most intense coronavirus outbreaks in the U.S. Local and state government officials like Edwards have been sounding the alarm about the nationwide shortage of ventilators, which are crucial for treating patients who are unable to breathe for themselves.

What they're saying: Edwards said the Trump administration has not yet given him assurance that the state will get the ventilators it needs, stating, "We know that ventilators are in short supply for everyone. All states are having this issue to one degree or another."

  • "But over the past few weeks, we've put in orders with the national stockpile, for example, through FEMA, but we've also pursued manufacturers and vendors trying to place orders for about 12,000 ventilators. I think, thus far, we've received 192. That is inadequate to the task."
  • "If we stay on this present growth curve that we're on, with respect to coronavirus cases, we believe that by about April 4 or so in the New Orleans area, we will exceed our capacity for ventilators. And obviously, that's not where we want to be," he continued.

Go deeper: The race to make more masks and ventilators

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PPP failed to get money to industries and areas most in need

Data: U.S. Small Business Administration; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) "appears to have missed the mark," S&P Global chief economist Beth Ann Bovino writes in a research report to be released today.

What it means: The PPP's first round largely skipped over states and industries that were the most in need, while the second round still has 39% of allocated cash remaining, even as many businesses are at risk of permanent closure.

D.C. chef: Restaurants need more time to spend PPP money

Photo: Axios screenshot

Restaurants need more time to spend money they've received from the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program to ensure that the loans are forgivable, Kwame Onwuachi, owner and head chef of Kith and Kin, a D.C.-based restaurant, said during an Axios digital event.

Why it matters: Onwuachi said small restaurants are reaching the end of the eight-week time limit to spend the money. If they do not spend the money, the loans may not be forgiven.

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

More than 100,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins — a milestone that puts the death toll far beyond some of the most tragic events in U.S. history.

By the numbers: Over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Nearly 354,000 Americans have recovered and over 15.1 million tests have been conducted. California became the fourth state with at least 100,000 reported cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, along with Illinois, New Jersey and New York.

Go deeper (2 min. read)ArrowUpdated 14 hours ago - Health