Angry Cuomo blasts federal coronavirus response: 'You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die'

Gov. Cuomo says the federal government is sitting on a stockpile of desperately needed ventilators.

News 12 Staff

Mar 24, 2020, 2:16 PM

Updated 1,527 days ago

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the rate of COVID-19 infections is accelerating, and the outbreak's apex is now expected to hit even sooner.
New York has hit 25,000 coronavirus cases, about ten times more than the state of California. Cuomo says the number of New Yorkers who have tested positive has doubled every three days.
Cuomo warned that new projections show that New York is 14 to 21 days away from seeing a surge of coronavirus patients that will overwhelm the hospital system.
"New York is going first," Cuomo says. "We have the highest and the fastest rate of infection."
The governor says the state needs 140,000 beds and 40,000 ICU beds. On Monday, Cuomo asked all state hospitals to expand capacity by at least 50%.
The state is looking at all options to increase hospital capacity for beds, staff and equipment, including using dorm rooms and hotels.
Ventilators have also become a worry, with Cuomo saying the state needs at least 30,000 of them, and is calling on the federal government to help get them by using the Defense Production Act.
"Only the federal government has that power and not to exercise that power is inexplicable to me," says Cuomo.
Cuomo also blasted FEMA over only sending 400 ventilators, saying, "You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die."
Cuomo also called on the feds to release 20,000 ventilators he says they have in a federal stockpile.
"Release the ventilators to New York. How can we be in a situation where you can have New Yorkers possibly dying because they can't get a ventilator, but a federal agency saying, 'I'm going to leave the ventialtors in the stockpile?'" Cuomo says.
 

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