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NY Gov. Cuomo Accused of Rejecting 16,000 Ventilators in 2015 and Opting for “Triage Officers” Instead




It appears that conservatives’ greatest fears are being proved right.

For years, Republican leaders warned that Obamacare and liberal policies would be a slippery slope towards health care rationing.

Sarah Palin was viciously mocked for suggesting that “death panels” would soon be on the horizon.

Now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, new accusations are emerging that New York Governor Cuomo has done just that.

Betsy McCaughey, the former New York Lieutenant Governor, is ringing the alarm that Governor Cuomo rejected 16,000 ventilators in 2015 after being warned to prepare for a global pandemic.

Cuomo rejected the ventilators and opted to create “triage officers” instead.

The roles of these triage officers would be to determine who gets a ventilator and who would be left to die without one, McCaughey claims. 

In short, it’s a lottery system that resembles a death panel.

More details on the new accusations below: 

Betsy McCaughey was the former Lieutenant Governor of New York from 1995 to 1998.

As the liberal media and far left politicians attempt to cast blame on Trump, McCaughey is attempting to show the role that Democrats like Cuomo played in this crisis.

McCaughey claims that the shortage of ventilators is due in part to Cuomo's lack of preparedness and his decision to refuse 16,000 ventilators in 2015 and opt for triage officers instead.

McCaughey wrote a column in the NY Post outlining her position on Cuomo's failed leadership:

Hospitals in New York are running short. To his credit, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is doing his best, but he admits “you can’t find available ventilators no matter how much you’re willing to pay right now, because there is literally a global run on ventilators.”

It’s a little late. Several years ago, after learning that the Empire State’s stockpile of medical equipment had 16,000 fewer ventilators than the 18,000 New Yorkers would need in a severe pandemic, state public-health leaders came to a fork in the road.

They could have chosen to buy more ventilators to back up the supplies hospitals maintain. ­Instead, the health commissioner, Howard Zucker, assembled a task force for rationing the ventilators they already had.

In 2015, that task force came up with rules that will be imposed when ventilators run short. ­Patients assigned a red code will have highest access, and other ­patients will be assigned green, yellow or blue (the worst), ­depending on a “triage officer’s” decision.

In truth, a death officer. Let’s not sugar-coat it. It won’t be up to your own doctor.

In 2015, the state could have purchased the additional 16,000 needed ventilators for $36,000 apiece, or a total of $576 million. It’s a lot of money, but in hindsight, spending half a percent of the budget to prepare for pandemic was the right thing to do.

To be fair, governments everywhere stockpiled too little. Washington didn’t do much better: The federal Strategic National Stockpile is undersupplied to meet the coronavirus emergency.

Now the pandemic is actually here. New York’s grim-reaper rules will be applied. New York City’s deputy commissioner for disease control, Demetre Daskalakis, is anticipating “some very ­serious, difficult decisions.” So far, in Gotham, one of every four people with a confirmed case has been hospitalized, and 44 percent of them have needed a ventilator.

In Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the pandemic, doctors recently faced the grim arithmetic of 1,000 patients needing ventilators and only 600 available. Italy is rationing ventilators, too, leaving many to die without them.

But in New York, rationing ventilators should be unnecessary. The state knew of the shortage, had the money and should have bought the lifesaving equipment, instead of making a plan for who should live or die. A lesson for the future.

So far, few in the media have questioned Cuomo's response in the crisis, which is why McCaughey has decided to speak out.

Similar to Barack Obama, however, Cuomo has a tendency to "send a tingle" up reporters' legs.

Many reporters have reported having "crushes" on Cuomo, which could explain the glowing media coverage.

See some fawning tweets below:

A press release published on the NY state government website in 2015 appears to validate McCaughey's accusation of a so-called death panel or health lottery system.

The "triage officers" would determine who gets put on a ventilator and who doesn't.

Below is the official New York State Department of Health and New York State Task Force on Life and the Law Update Ventilator Allocation Guidelines:

To ensure that patients receive the best possible care in a pandemic, the guidelines call for a triage officer or triage committee to determine who receives or continues to receive ventilator therapy. To prevent a conflict of interest, these decision-makers are not the patients' attending physicians. The decision regarding whether to use a triage officer or committee is up to each hospital, given the different resources at each site.

The guidelines apply only to patients at hospitals and not to ventilator-dependent chronic care patients at long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. However, if such a patient requires hospital care, the patient is then subject to the clinical protocol.

Patients not receiving ventilator therapy should receive alternative forms of medical intervention. Palliative care will be provided to all patients to manage patient discomfort.

During a pandemic the guidelines will be modified as new information is obtained. Data collection and analysis of the pandemic viral strain, as well as symptoms, disease course, treatments, and survival, will be taken into consideration, so that patients receive the best care possible.

Additional public outreach efforts will be conducted regarding the guidelines and the public will have opportunities to comment on them.

"The guidelines were written to reflect the values of New Yorkers, and extensive efforts were made to obtain public input during their development," said Susie Han, Deputy Director of the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law and project chair of the guidelines. "The guidelines are a living document, intended to be updated and revised in line with advances in clinical knowledge and societal norms."

Now is certainly not the time to cast blame or to undermine our authorities.

We must come together as Americans to fight against the COVID-19 pandmic and reduce the risk for every citizen.

However, it's clear that any shortfalls have happened at every level of government.

The media will undoubtedly use this crisis to unfairly and over-dramatically criticize President Trump.

While there are always areas that could have been improved, it's important to note that Trump's leadership has vastly slowed down the crisis and provided a cushion for our economy.

Any media outlet that is quick to throw stones at Trump but fails to even ask basic questions of his Democrat counterpart(s) likely has very little interest in objective truth.


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