In these frightening and uncertain times, we can’t run out of the tools health officials need to do their jobs. Yet that is what’s happening.

The state will run out of stockpiled ventilators in less than a week if several hundred new COVID-19 patients continue to enter intensive care units each day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.

Doctors, nurses and first responders are doing their jobs at incredible risk. It’s time for the federal government to do its job and supply ventilators to pandemic zones.

State officials study various expert models to determine a moderate projection for the number of hospital beds, ventilators, gloves, masks and other personal protective equipment the state will need. Cuomo said the state could need as many as 40,000 ventilators to combat the virus at its peak. The peak could hit New York in the next seven to 30 days, depending on the model, Cuomo said Thursday during a briefing.

The federal government sent New York 4,400 ventilators and the state has purchased 17,000 ventilators from China at about $25,000 each, costing a minimum of $425 million. Cuomo anticipates the delivery of 2,500 machines to the state within the next two weeks.

The state sent 400 ventilators to NYC Health + Hospitals and 200 to Long Island and Westchester hospitals Wednesday night. The 600 machines were the first from the state’s stockpile to be deployed.

President Donald Trump said Friday the federal government is not “an ordering clerk” for the states. This is not the attitude the country needs in these interdependent times.

Put another way, supplying ventilators is the task of the federal government; it needs to do more. Millions of doctors, nurses and first responders are doing their jobs. It’s time for Washington to do its job.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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