NYC Mayor Says Trump Needs to Face Reality on Ventilator Crisis

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says President Donald Trump needs to face reality because cases of the new coronavirus are going to become “astronomical,” putting unprecedented strain on the hospital system.

Trump said in an interview on Fox News on Thursday that he didn’t think New York state, which has become the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S., needed the 30,000 ventilators that Governor Andrew Cuomo has asked for to treat Covid-19 patents with respiratory conditions.

“I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators. You go into major hospitals sometimes, and they’ll have two ventilators,” Trump said. “And now all of a sudden they’re saying, ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?’”

Cuomo and de Blasio haveasked Trump to use his authority under the Cold War-era Defense Production Act to compel manufacturers to make ventilators and provide seed money to retrofit factories. The shortage has led to tough decisions about who lives and who dies in Italy and China.

Related:N.J. Starts Thinking Over How to Ration Scarce Ventilators

De Blasio, during an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Friday, said the city needs 15,000 ventilators. He estimates that half of New Yorkers ultimately will contract the virus, and that the crisis will continue to grow through April and into May. New York City has more than 23,000 cases of Covid-19, with 365 deaths at last count.

“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. “If they don’t have a ventilator, a lot of people are just not going to make it.”

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