NEW YORK (AP) – Cuomo said Friday he will order the redistribution of hundreds of ventilators to hospitals overwhelmed with critical coronavirus patients amid alarming increases in outbreak-related deaths and hospitalizations.
New York state tallied its biggest daily jump yet in deaths— up 562 to 2,935. Almost 15,000 people were hospitalized.
“You have more deaths, you have more people coming into hospitals than any other night,” a weary sounding Cuomo told a state Capitol news briefing.
New York City hospitals are filling up with COVID-19 patients, and officials fear they will soon run out of breathing machines for intensive care patients. Cuomo said his executive order will allow the state to redeploy excess ventilators and protective equipment from hospitals and other institutions.
“I’m not going to let people die because we didn’t redistribute ventilators,” Cuomo said.
National Guard members will pick up ventilators across the state. Institutions that give up equipment will get it back or be reimbursed, he said.
“The governor is pursuing lifesaving measures in real time during an unprecedented public health emergency,” said Greater New York Hospital Association President Kenneth E. Raske in a prepared statement. “We know the door swings both ways — any institution that receives a ventilator will more than reciprocate when the virus peaks elsewhere.”