On Tuesday morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio inspected 400 ventilators in a Brooklyn emergency management warehouse that FEMA sent to the the city yesterday afternoon.
The mayor announced the arrival of the medical devices, made up of a pump and tube slipped into a person’s windpipe to help the lungs do their job, hours after he called on the federal government to supply the city with thousands of ventilators, masks, gloves and gowns.
Of the 400 ventilators that de Blasio inspected Tuesday, 100 have been sent to to public hospitals in the city and 300 have been sent to private and nonprofit hospitals in the city, the mayor said.
On Sunday, the mayor urged President Trump and Vice President Pence to send ventilators other medical supplies to help the city hospitals be prepared for the impending wave of coronavirus patients. Tuesday morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo said that the apex of the coronavirus pandemic would hit New York state in two to three weeks and that the “curve is not flattening.” The “curve” refers to the predicted number of new coronavirus cases over a period of time.
Although de Blasio expressed gratitude for the ventilators, he added that city hospitals need to stock up on thousands more to prepare for the thousands of coronavirus patients expected to need hospitalization over the next few months.
Shortly before his afternoon press conference on Tuesday, de Blasio received news that the federal government would be sending 4,000 ventilators to New York state within the next 48 hours with 2,000 of those ventilators are going to New York City.
“That is great news, but I need people to understand that is only the beginning of what we need,” said de Blasio.
At most, the mayor said, the ventilators that the city has received and will receive can only carry the hospital system into the first week of April.
The mayor said on Monday that the city would need at least 15,000 ventilators by May. De Blasio has previously asked the federal government for 3 million N-95 masks, 50 million surgical masks, 25 million pairs of gloves, gowns and other pieces of protective gear.
De Blasio said on Monday that the state and federal government have sent 430,000 surgical masks, 175,000 pairs of gloves, 98,000 face shields, 72,000 surgical gowns and 170,000 N-95 masks were being sent to the city.