New York Governor Cuomo Slams Federal Government’s COVID-19 Response

NEW YORK (TURKISH JOURNAL) – By Janet Ekstract – New York City’s Governor Andrew Cuomo in his press briefings on Monday and Tuesday, slammed the federal government for the response New York is receiving with regard to a dire need for urgent medical equipment.

Cuomo said he spoke to President Trump and Vice-President Pence about the fact that New York has a dire shortage of medical equipment and supplies. He said he told them he needs 30,000 ventilators and he only received 400. Cuomo said: “What am I going to do with 400 ventilators when we need 30,000?”  He added: “I look at actions not words, they’re sending supplies, where are they?”  Cuomo further stated: “There is no other place to get this equipment.”  

Meanwhile, President Trump who said the federal government would send these supplies, said a day later that governors are responsible for obtaining their own medical supplies. The New York governor said the timeline doesn’t work because as he said, “We need those ventilators now.” The governor explained that one ventilator costs $25,000 and that companies who have no experience in making such a sophisticated ventilator can’t produce them in just two weeks.

With regard to New York City, Cuomo said lockdown strategies need to be refined. He warned that the number of viruses will spike higher and sooner than anyone thought.  The governor said the federal government must use the Defense Production Act to release the stockpile of medical supplies available. Cuomo reiterated that “My mother is not expendable and your mother is not expendable and your brothers and sisters are not expendable.”

New York’s governor said: “The Feds say we don’t need to pass the act because companies are coming forward.  What he is referring to are companies such as 3M and Cisco who are just two who have volunteered to produce the needed medical supplies. He added that the federal government is reluctant to invoke the Defense Production Act because they maintain it’s somehow detrimental to big business but Cuomo said that’s not true. The governor said “It’s actually a pro-business mentality.” He reiterated: “This isn’t anti-business. I speak to the businesses. You know what they say – I need startup capital.” He is referring to companies who are being asked to produce medical equiment such as surgical masks, respirators, ventilators or the like. Cuomo said what’s really happening about trying to procure medical supplies is price gouging. He said states shouldn’t have to compete with each other to purchase supplies. The president had said in his Sunday press briefing that price gouging is illegal and that those doing it would be held accountable.

In Governor Cuomo’s most recent press briefing on Wednesday, he said the rate of infections are doubling every three days in the state of New York. At Tuesday’s press briefing, Cuomo said there is “No contest” in choosing between the economy and human lives. The governor added: “It is inexplicable that the federal government hasn’t helped with ventilators.” He emphasized: “The government can do this.”

The governor said New York City has a number of strategies in place to increase hospital patient capacity and on Wednesday, Trump tweeted that 4,000 ventilators were sent to New York City but for New York that still won’t be enough with more coronavirus cases increasing every few days. Cuomo stressed how important the value of human life is and commented: “You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die because you sent only 400 ventilators.”

New York City Governor Andrew Cuomo’s summary of the situation is: “We’re going to get through it because we are New York and we are smart. Because we are New York tough, we are united. You have to be tough. This place makes you tough. It makes you tough in a good way. I love New York because New York loves you. Black and brown and Asian, short, tall, gay, straight – New York loves everyone and that’s why I love New York. Even if it is a long day and this is a long day, love wins and it will always win.”

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