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Ventilator Shortage Dire In New York, Stockpile Nearly Depleted

John Minchillo
Cages of ventilators are displayed last week at the New York City Emergency Management Warehouse where they will be distributed. Gov. Cuomo says the state stockpile will run out before the coronavirus peaks.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says 350 people a day are walking into New York hospitals in need of a ventilator. At this rate, state officials say the state stockpile of machines will be exhausted before reaching the peak of coronavirus patients. Officials aren't counting on receiving more.

Governor Cuomo says, for New York, it’s too late to make more ventilators. He says he doesn’t think that 17,000 ordered from China will arrive on time, and he’s not sure if the federal government has more in its stockpile. The governor says New York is on its own. Hospitals are planning to split ventilators and modify other machines to act as one.

“We even have a plan for the, I showed you, the handheld rubber ventilator that’s just a bladder that is manually operated."

Cuomo says for personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks, it’s not too late to make and buy more. New York is offering to buy the much needed equipment at a premium and will even pay manufactures to convert their factories if they can do it quickly.

Read the latest on WSHU’s coronavirus coverage here.


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Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.
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