New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the city has just six days until its hospitals will run out of ventilators crucial to keeping critically ill COVID-19 patients breathing. His warning came as the House Oversight Committee reported just 9,500 ventilators remain in the national stockpile, with another 3,200 set to arrive by April 13 — far short of what will be needed to treat COVID-19 patients in emerging hot spots like New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois and Louisiana.
President Trump has promised to deliver 100,000 new ventilators, but most will not be available until late June at the earliest. On Thursday, Trump tweeted, “Massive amounts of medical supplies, even hospitals and medical centers, are being delivered directly to states and hospitals by the Federal Government. Some have insatiable appetites & are never satisfied.”
Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner, who’s been tapped to lead much of the administration’s coronavirus response, made a rare TV appearance at a White House press briefing Thursday.
Jared Kushner: “The notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile. It’s not supposed to be states’ stockpiles that they then use.”
With the national stockpile of medical equipment nearly exhausted, Tennessee’s Department of Health has advised hospital workers to prepare to use swim goggles as eye protection; plastic bags as gloves; and tissues, gauze and diapers as masks.