Here in New York, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, Governor Andrew Cuomo blasted the Trump administration Tuesday for failing to respond to the magnitude of the crisis. Governor Cuomo says hospitals are already encountering shortages of equipment, including ventilators crucial to keeping patients alive when COVID-19 cases peak — which officials now predict could come in as little as two or three weeks.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: ”FEMA is sending us 400 ventilators. Four hundred ventilators? I need 30,000 ventilators. You want a pat on the back for sending 400 ventilators? What am I going to do with 400 ventilators, when I need 30,000? You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die because you only sent 400 ventilators!”
After Cuomo’s criticism, Vice President Mike Pence said the federal government was sending 2,000 ventilators to New York. Speaking on Fox News, President Trump hinted that more federal aid might be contingent on Cuomo — and other governors — ending their criticisms of the White House.
President Donald Trump: “No, I think we’re doing very well. But, you know, it’s a two-way street. They have to treat us well also.”
New York has more than half of total confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S., though that’s partly due to a massive increase in the number of tests carried out in recent days. Almost half the cases in New York are among people less than 45 years in age.