Governor Andrew Cuomo called remarks by President Donald Trump “grossly uninformed” when he was confronted about ventilators that are being held in a New York storage facility.
The Democrat leader pushed back at Trump’s claims that the state ignored thousands of federally paid-for ventilators languishing in storage while demanding more be sent to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. But Cuomo did not deny the existence of the supplies when asked, admitting there was a “stockpile.”
Question: “Were there ventilators found in a storage facility or something, that the President is claiming there were ventilators found, that they need to be distributed, is there any truth to that?”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: “That is incorrect and grossly uninformed.” pic.twitter.com/rWzkXbkzK8
— The Hill (@thehill) March 28, 2020
Trump called out the state for blaming him and his administration for not doing enough to help combat COVID-19 in New York which has become the epicenter of the nation’s outbreak, with over 46,000 confirmed cases and over 600 deaths, with more than 400 of those being centered in New York City.
“We sent thousands of ventilators to New York, and they didn’t know about it at the time they were complaining,” Trump said during Friday’s White House coronavirus briefing. “They were going there in large numbers.”
Cuomo doubled down on his request and dismissed Trump’s claim that unused ventilators had been found sitting in a New York storage facility.
Thousand of Federal Government (delivered) Ventilators found in New York storage. N.Y. must distribute NOW!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 27, 2020
“That is incorrect and grossly uninformed,” Cuomo said when asked by a reporter Friday about the president’s remarks.
“The point is we have ventilators in a stockpile and we didn’t send them to the hospitals yet. Of course we didn’t,” he said.
“The hospitals don’t need them yet,” he added. “The hospitals aren’t at their apex. The hospitals have enough ventilators today. But the numbers are going up. So the point is, ‘They’re in a stockpile, you must not need them’ is just ignorant. Of course you don’t need them today. You need them when you hit the apex, which is 30,000. We’re not there yet.”
Earlier in the week, Cuomo had asked Washington for 30,000 ventilators claiming the state only has 11,000.
“I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators,” Trump said on “Hannity” Thursday. “You know, you go into major hospitals sometimes and they’ll have two ventilators and now all of a sudden they’re saying, ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?'”
Cuomo acknowledged that the ventilators the federal government had supplied were being stockpiled and were not yet needed, defending his demand for more by projecting the worst phase of the outbreak would be coming in about 21 days.
“Yes, they’re in a stockpile. Because that’s where they are supposed to be because we don’t need them yet,” the New York governor said during a press conference.
“We need them from the apex. The apex is not here. So we are gathering them in the stockpile so when we need them, they’ll be there. We don’t need them today because we are not at capacity today. That’s why they are not deployed, because they are not needed,” he explained.
“Well, look, I don’t have a crystal ball, everybody’s entitled to their own opinion,” Cuomo continued, referring to the specific number of ventilators requested. “But I don’t operate here on opinion. I operate on facts and on data and on numbers and on projections.”
“All the projections say you could have an apex needing 140,000 beds and about 40,000 ventilators … And that’s what the data and the science says,” he added. “I hope we don’t need 30,000 ventilators. I hope some natural weather change happens overnight and kills the virus globally… The numbers say you may need 30,000.”
Fox News host Sean Hannity blasted Cuomo during his Friday show, calling him out for being ungrateful and lecturing the president while failing to prepare his state for an emergency.
“Why didn’t you do your job and allocate the emergency dollars for moments predictably like this?” he asked, accusing the Democrat of doing “nothing but more whining, bitching, and complaining.”
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