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City receives hundreds of ventilators from federal stockpile; de Blasio says much more needed

New York State needs 30,000 ventilators — which cost between $16,000 and $40,000 a piece — to fight the coronavirus outbreak, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo on March 22, 2020. (REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo)

The city now has 400 ventilators from the federal stockpile Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday afternoon. 

“This is a huge step forward to help us this week and into next,” said de Blasio during his daily coronavirus press conference Monday night.

During an interview with CNN early Monday morning and later to PIX11, the mayor said he had spoken with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence Sunday night to relay that the city would run out of essential medical supplies, particularly ventilators, within the next week if the federal government did not step in. 

De Blasio also asked that military medical personnel be sent to the city to help staff the new temporary medical facilities and again urged the president to implement the Defense Production Act.

The mayor told reporters during the afternoon press conference that he learned of the ventilator shipment sometime in the early afternoon. 

“I am very, very appreciative of the 400, that will buy us days for sure,” said de Blasio. “But we have a much bigger need we have to fill.” 

Those ventilators are only a drop in the bucket.

The city will need 15,000 ventilators by the end of May, the mayor said, in order to adequately equip hospitals for the wave of coronavirus patients expected to hit the healthcare system within the upcoming months.

Hospitals will also need thousands of N-95 masks, gloves, gowns, face shields and surgical masks to prevent further spreading of the virus from patient to patient and from patients to health care workers. 

The mayor has previously asked the federal government for  three million N-95 masks, 50 million surgical masks, 15,000 ventilators and 25 million pairs of gloves, gowns along with other protective gear. He mentioned during the Monday afternoon press conference that the state and federal government were shipping 430,00 surgical masks, 175,000 pairs of gloves, 98,000 face shields, 72,000 surgical gowns and 170,000 N-95 mask to the city.

On Monday, the city sent out 200,000 N-95 masks, 2 million surgical masks and 70,000 face shields to city hospitals.

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