New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) says President Donald Trump “is not looking at the facts” of the coronavirus pandemic after the president said he doesn’t believe New York needs 30,000 ventilators to treat infected patients.
New York is the hardest-hit state of the coronavirus pandemic. At least 466 people have died in the state alone, with most of them in the New York City area, where cases continue to spike daily. Hospitals are already overloaded and medical professionals are running dangerously low on supplies, with many forced to reuse their protective equipment and running the risk of contracting the disease themselves.
“When the president says the state of New York doesn’t need 30,000 ventilators, with all due respect to him, he’s not looking at the facts of this astronomical growth of this crisis,” de Blasio said. “And a ventilator… means someone lives or dies.”
Although New York City recently received 2,500 ventilators, de Blasio said it will need at least 15,000 to keep up with the demand. There are over 23,000 coronavirus cases in the city alone. The city will also need “three million N-95 masks, 50 million surgical masks and 25 million sets of gowns, gloves and other protective equipment,” reports Politico.
“I can tell you right now we have enough supplies to get through this week and next week in our hospitals — that’s all I can guarantee,” de Blasio said.
You can watch footage of de Blasio’s remarks below.
“We believe over half the people in this city will ultimately be infected.”
New York City Mayor @billdeblasio tells @GStephanopoulos that “we have be ready” for NYC to be closed through May. https://t.co/Y7dKQRF9le pic.twitter.com/XJqx013ahO
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 27, 2020
The president sparked controversy after pushing back on Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s estimation that his state would need at least 30,000 ventilators to keep up with the rate of coronavirus cases.
“I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they’re going to be,” Trump told Sean Hannity during a Fox News interview last night. “I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators. You go into major hospitals sometimes, and they’ll have two ventilators. And now all of a sudden they’re saying, ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?’”
The president’s statements have received further criticism that he is not responding to the needs of the crisis that has claimed at least 1,304 lives in the United States.