New York to Seize Ventilators to Help Swamped Hospitals

Cuomo orders National Guard to move equipment to places with the greatest need
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2020 2:40 PM CDT
New York to Seize Ventilators to Help Swamped Hospitals
A cage of ventilators is moved by forklift Tuesday at the New York City Emergency Management Warehouse.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

New York will begin sending the National Guard into hospitals and other places in the state to seize ventilators and take them where they're needed more. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the executive order Friday, the Hill reports. He said some hospitals don't have many COVID-19 cases and have unused ventilators on hand, while hard-hit places such as New York City hospitals need more than they have now. "It's not that we're going to leave any health care facility without adequate equipment, but they don't need excess equipment now," Cuomo said. Later, the state will return the equipment or reimburse the hospitals, he said, though he expects some hospitals to object to his order.

"If they want to sue me for borrowing ventilators to save lives, let them sue me," the governor said, per WGRZ. The state had 562 deaths in the past 24 hours, Cuomo said, its largest one-day increase of the pandemic. He called on manufacturers in the state to start making protective equipment to help. Holding up a thin hospital gown at his daily press briefing, the governor said, "It can't be that complicated in this country and in this state to transition to make those supplies quickly." Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday that New York City will run out of ventilators by Monday or Tuesday; Cuomo said the resources will be moved all over the state, as needed, after they're taken by troops from hospitals. "I apologize to those institutions," the governor said. (More coronavirus stories.)

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