WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump questioned New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s call for 30,000 to meet an expected surge of patients in the coming weeks.
“I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday. “You know, you go into major hospitals, sometimes, they’ll have two ventilators. And now all of a sudden they’re saying, ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?'”
Cuomo has said he needs 30,000 ventilators “at a minimum” to meet the peak of the outbreak in his state in a couple of weeks.
The state has only about 4,000 ventilators, which are needed to help patients breathe as they battle a virus that attacks respiratory systems. Cuomo said the state is converting some anesthesia machines into ventilators and adding a second tube to some ventilators in a process known as “splitting.”
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“We’re still working with the federal government to try to find more ventilators, but that is our single greatest challenge,” Cuomo said Wednesday.
Citing Cuomo’s request, Trump told Hannity: “Thirty thousand? All right. Think of this. You know, you go to hospitals, they’ll have one in a hospital. And now, all of a sudden everybody’s asking for these vast numbers.”
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Contributing: Joseph Spector, the New York state editor for the USA TODAY Network