Ventilators have been the center of a political firestorm around the COVID-19 pandemic.
Democrats and prominent media figures have criticized President Trump for a “shortage” of ventilators, though there is currently enough ventilators for those who need one.
The worry is that as the cases peak, there might not be enough ventilators, but we are not yet at that points as the nation attempts to “flatten the curve.”
Governor Cuomo has admitted, however, that there are ventilators stock piled in New York.
“Yes they’re in a stockpile because that’s where they’re supposed to be because we don’t need them yet,” Cuomo said, according to the New York Post.
This comment has gone virutally unreported by the rest of the mainstream media.
The controversy around ventilators reached fever pitch after Trump appeared on Hannity:
“I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators. You go into major hospitals sometimes, they’ll have two ventilators. And now all of a sudden they’re saying, ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?’” the president stated.
Many liberal commentators told their viewers that this meant Trump wasn't taking the crisis seriously.
Experts have already updated their models and say that it appears that the original worst case scenario projections were overblown.
While there will be an increase in cases, it is likely that it will only be a fraction of the dire predictions made just a few weeks ago.
Trump also took to Twitter to call out New York Governor Cuomo:
Cuomo not only criticized President Trump... he also criticized Dr. Deborah Birx.
However, in criticizing Dr. Birx, Cuomo revealed that the Trump administration is right: ventilators are currently in stockpile.
According to the New York Post, Cuomo is keeping the ventilators in stockpile until the "apex" arrives:
Cuomo, without mentioning Trump by name, added, “I don’t have a crystal ball. Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion, but I don’t operate here on opinion. I operate on facts and on data and on numbers and on projections.”
“I hope some natural weather change happens overnight and kills the virus globally. That’s what I hope, but that’s my hope, that’s my emotions, that’s my thoughts. The numbers say you may need 30,000,” Cuomo said.
On Fox News’ “Hannity” Thursday Trump said, “I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they’re going to be.”
Cuomo also shot down criticism by Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, about New York not using the ventilators they already have.
“Somebody said one of the cable news shows, the ventilators that New York needed aren’t even being deployed — they’re in a stockpile,” Cuomo said, paraphrasing Birx’s comments without naming her.
“Yes they’re in a stockpile because that’s where they’re supposed to be because we don’t need them yet. We need them for the apex. The apex isn’t here so we’re gathering them in the stockpile so when we need them they will be there,” Cuomo said.
Earlier he predicted the apex, or the peak of the state’s coronavirus cases, could come in 21 days.
“We don’t need them today because we’re not at capacity today,” Cuomo said.
To reiterate, Governor Cuomo stated, "Yes they’re in a stockpile because that’s where they’re supposed to be because we don’t need them yet. We need them for the apex. The apex isn’t here so we’re gathering them in the stockpile so when we need them they will be there."
Turns out President Trump was right yet again!
The media seems to be focused on creating the impression that there is a national shortage of ventilators.
Some suspect that it's to create panic and to paint the Trump administration as being "incompetent."
See more of Cuomo's statements:
Despite the fact that New York still has ventilators stockpiled, the Trump administration is working to get more ventilators to the state.
It is currently unclear how many ventilators are in stockpile.
The Western Journal reports that Vice President Pence has confirmed the shipment of 2,000 ventilators directly to New York:
Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday that the federal government had sent 2,000 of the devices directly to New York on and added that New Yorkers would receive an additional 2,000 by Wednesday, Fox News reported.
“Earlier today, FEMA, from the national stockpile, shipped 2,000 ventilators to the state of New York,” Pence said.
“Tomorrow, there will be another 2,000 ventilators shipped from the national stockpile.”
Pence’s comments came after Trump had already announced that the federal government had sent 400 ventilators to New York.
At the time, Cuomo was requesting only 15,000 of the devices.
But the number of ventilators being requested continues to climb as the Trump administration responds.
It is unclear exactly how many ventilators New York currently has stockpiled.
A 2015 “Ventilator Allocation Guidelines” summary letter from top New York health experts urged the state to prepare for a health emergency — specifically citing a respiratory pandemic — and evaluated a need for the state to allocate more ventilators in the event of a worst-case scenario public health emergency.
“In a severe public health emergency on the scale of the 1918 influenza pandemic, however, [current] ventilators would not be sufficient to meet the demand,” the experts wrote.
“Even if the vast number of ventilators needed were purchased, a sufficient number of trained staff would not be available to operate them. If the most severe forecast becomes a reality, New York State and the rest of the country will need to allocate ventilators.”
“Efforts should be made to increase the number of available ventilators,” they added.
The summary noted that the state had 1,750 ventilators stockpiled, and a total number of 8,991 ventilators were available in the state at the time.
Many companies in the private sector, such as GM, have committed to producing ventilators to help save lives.
As the number of COVID-19 cases has officially crossed the 100K mark, experts are interested in tracking how the curve progresses.
New models predict that we will avoid a worst case scenario, but our officials are moving to make sure that we have enough ventilators just in case.
Even if they're not needed, surely they can be kept in the national stockpile.