NEW YORK (TURKISH JOURNAL) – By Janet Ekstract – In his daily briefing on Friday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made it clear that ventilators must be “redeployed from across the system.” The governor said he doesn’t have an option so he said: “I’m going to sign an executive order that says the state can take PPE and ventilators from hospitals that don’t need them now.”
Cuomo explicitly stated that he doesn’t want to be in a situation “where people are dying because there aren’t enough ventilators.” Cuomo added: “If you don’t get your ventilator back, I personally will reimburse you but I’m not going to let people die because we don’t have any ventilators.” He explained that hospitals that aren’t dealing with coronavirus patients will have much slower activity and that means there will be ventilators that won’t be immediately needed.
Cuomo reiterated: “It can’t be that companies in this state can’t do that,” he said, referring to making masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE). He stressed “We still don’t have enough ventilators, PPE is in short supply, we need companies to make the materials.” Cuomo added: “It is unbelievable to me that in New York City in the United States of America that we can’t get these materials.” He also reiterated: “These materials are not complicated.” Then referring to the bidding for medical supplies that he says the federal government should have been able to supply – he added: “The N95 mask was 70 cents when we started, now its 7 dollars, there’s nothing sophisticated about the material or the manufacture of a gown.”
Once again, Governor Cuomo emphasized: “We are tracking every night, every hospital for what they need,” and “we’re sharing resources.” He also said: “We’re going to shift resources to every part of the state to whatever hospital needs that at that time.” Javits Convention Center is also being converted into a COVID facility, the governor said. He added: “It will have ventilated beds – it’s federally staffed so they will have to find the ventilators for it.” Cuomo said those will probably come from the federal stockpile.
The governor reported that the curent hospitalization rate is at a “new high,” and that though more people are coming into hospitals and there are more deaths, that more people are also getting discharged from hospitals as well. The issue, Cuomo stressed is that there are communities in New York City that are seeing higher rates of infection as well as Long Island. He said that he’s especially worried about Long Island because as he stated: “Long Island doesn’t have as elaborate a healthcare system as New York City.” The other major issue in the coronavirus fight in New York City is the high rate of illness among transit workers, NYPD and the very serious problem of healthcare workers testing positive for the virus, he said.
An even larger issue that New York City is grappling with is the fact that New York state has no money. Cuomo commented: “We are heavily reliant on the federal aid legislation that gets passed.” He emphasized that whatever legislation is passed next that it’s crucial that financial assistance goes to state and local governments. To that end, Cuomo said he discussed this issue with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and said: “She understands fully the need of local and state governments. She said she will do everything she can do to help New York.”
In terms of the coronavirus response, Cuomo explained: “There are a lot of conversations about how we should respond on an intergovernment level – who should decide what’s done on a state level – this is not a states rights issue. “Every state is saying the same thing, I need help, I need assistance.” The governor reiterated: “This is a natural disaster emergency situation where the states welcome the federal government assistance. No state can get the supplies they need, the market has literally collapsed.” Cuomo emphasized that the only logical thing to do is follow the model of the virus curves in different parts of America that occur at different times. He said: “I think the only practical solution at this time, focus on the emergency that is in front of you, then redeploy to the next situation.” His plan as he has previously mentioned: “Let’s move our resources and personnel as the situation develops.” He also said: “The federal government does not have enough material to sit there and say whatever you need I can get you. They have essentially said they don’t have enough in the federal stockpile to handle this.”
The New York governor’s message was clear: “Help the place that has the crisis, New York is in crisis and then pick up, decamp and go to the next place as this rolls across the country.” He remarked: “It’s in the American DNA to say, we’re here to help one another.” Cuomo added: “When our curve is over, New Yorkers are going to amass and we’ll take our equipment and we’ll take our personnel and go to help another community.” The governor concluded: “At this time when we’re dealing with our worst, let’s deploy America at our best.”