President Trump reached into his pocket on Fox News today and pulled out something New York Governor Andrew Cuomo did not want to see.
Trump, pulled out an op-ed by a former Lt Governor of New York, that accused Cuomo of refusing to buy 16,000 ventilators in 2015 after a committee recommended it.
Ouch. Trump and the Cuomo family go way back and they are having a mini-feud but they work well together in private, despite the shots they take at each in public.
The fact is, after the H1N1, the Obama administration saw the need to create a stockpile of ventilators but they only bought around 16,000.
They had no idea this was coming so it is not fair to blame Trump. It is also not fair to blame Cuomo as even if he had made the purchase in 2015, he would still be short.
The real solutions we need have not changed – find a vaccine and ramp up American production of key supplies.
On those fronts Trump has moved – we are testing multiple drug therapies as well as multiple vaccines and American business is ramping up.
Yesterday, Tesla’s Elon Musk delivered 1,000 ventilators to California – it only took him a week to get that done. That is good news. He did not make them at one of his factories but he has been in talks with leading manufactures to work together to increase production – it is faster than starting from scratch.
This is from the report Trump referenced on Fox today:
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.
Fredo’s brother Andrew Cuomo (New York Governor) neglected to order 16,000 ventilators five years ago when it was recommended to him. Now he’s blaming Trump. pic.twitter.com/7KpvFxlZQQ
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) March 24, 2020
— Forbes (@Forbes) March 24, 2020