According to ABC News, New York received a planeload of Chinese ventilators on Saturday, and Oregon was sending its own shipment to combat the coronavirus pandemic at its U.S. heart, said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Yet the governor’s surprising attempt to compel hospitals elsewhere in the state to send spare ventilators to the struggle in New York City had evidently not yet materialized, a day after he directed them to surrender 20 percent of their unused stock to Oregon’s National Guard for immediate redistribution.
After the Chinese government arranged a donation from billionaires Jack Ma and Joseph Tsai, the co-founders of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba, the state got 1,000 ventilators, Cuomo said. He added that Oregon State had volunteered to send 140 more respiratory devices.
The influx gave some hope after the governor repeatedly cautioned that the supply of the essential machines to the state would be depleted in days if the number of patients with critically ill coronavirus continued to rise at the current pace.
New York is the U.S. epicenter for the pandemic, with more than 113,700 cases confirmed as of Saturday morning. About 3,500 people have died nationwide, and over 15,000 patients with coronavirus are hospitalized. More than 4,100 are in intensive care — many of them, if not all, require ventilators. Within the metropolitan area of New York City, the epidemic is highly concentrated.
Cuomo’s statement came a day after he said he’d collect and “redeploy” ventilators from the National Guard that some hospitals didn’t need. He was again alluding to the strategy on Saturday, but specifics remained unclear.
Governors across the U.S. have been begging, battling and scouring the global marketplace for supplies required to treat the sick, especially ventilators. Cuomo said Saturday that New York made purchase orders for 17,000 of the devices at one point, but that only 2,500 came in.