Andrew Cuomo offers 400 ventilators to Massachusetts
"You were there for us, and we're going to be there for you."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says New York is poised to return the favor.
In his Sunday briefing, Cuomo said his administration had identified up to 400 ventilators they could send to Massachusetts on 24 hours notice, as the Bay State has to “scramble” to manage its surge in coronavirus cases.
“Right now, our neighbors in Massachusetts are looking at an increase in cases,” Cuomo said.
The New York Democrat — whose hard-hit state received 300,000 of the 1.7 million masks Massachusetts secured from China through the help of the New England Patriots earlier this month — said he spoke to Gov. Charlie Baker on Saturday.
“I said, ‘You were there for us, and we’re going to be there for you,'” Cuomo said. “If they need 400 ventilators, we’ve already identified them, and we will bring them over on 24 hours notice. And we wish them well, and anything they need, we’re going to be there.”
In a tweet Monday afternoon, Baker thanked Cuomo for lending the ventilators.
Grateful to @NYGovCuomo and our neighbors in New York for lending 400 ventilators to support Massachusetts’ health care system during COVID-19. We look forward to distributing these devices to health care facilities soon.#COVID19MA pic.twitter.com/P3b23LX39F
— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) April 20, 2020
“We look forward to distributing these devices to health care facilities soon,” the governor wrote.
The offer from New York effectively matches the number of ventilators Massachusetts has received so far from the federal government’s national stockpile. State officials have requested 1,700 of the potentially life-saving respiratory machines, and Baker initially said the federal government had committed to send at least 1,000.
However, as of last week, only 400 ventilators have been shipped from the stockpile to Massachusetts.
New York, which has seen by far the most COVID-19 cases and deaths of any state in the country, has gotten 4,400 from the stockpile, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A 2010 study by the American Medical Association estimated that New York had just over 4,500 ventilators before the pandemic, compared to roughly 1,400 existing machines in Massachusetts.
Cuomo’s offer came as White House officials said Sunday that Boston and Massachusetts were among the places they were most concerned about with respect to the spread of the disease. During a press conference Sunday night, President Donald Trump commended Cuomo for offering to send ventilators to Massachusetts.
“They are now taking some of their excess ventilators, which is great, and they’re sending them up to Massachusetts,” Trump said. “I think it’s 400. And that’s — that’s a great thing.”
While the more densely populated New York City area has been called the global epicenter of the pandemic, deaths and hospitalizations in the state have begun to trend downwards. Cuomo said Sunday the state was “on the other side of the plateau.”
“That’s good news only compared to the terrible news that we were living with, which is that constant increase,” he said. “And remember, you still have 1,300 people who walked into the hospitals yesterday testing positive. So, it’s no time to get cocky and it’s no time to get arrogant, right?”
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