Trump Says Cuomo’s Projections for New York Outbreak Are High

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump questioned whether New York will need as many ventilators as its governor, Andrew Cuomo, is seeking to treat coronavirus patients, saying Cuomo’s projections could be “extremely high.”

Cuomo said Friday New York may need as many as 30,000 to 40,000 of the medical devices to treat coronavirus patients in critical condition. The state is the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, the largest of any country in the world according to public reporting.

“I think their estimates are high,” Trump said of Cuomo’s projections at a White House news conference on Friday. “I hope they’re high, they could be extremely high.”

Trump said, “I think there’s a very good chance” the U.S. won’t need as many ventilators as Cuomo and other governors have requested.

Trump claimed the federal government had sent “thousands” of ventilators to New York that aren’t being used. Cuomo said cases in the state could peak in three to four weeks.

“We sent thousands of ventilators, and they didn’t know they got them, then we sent thousands of ventilators to New York -- they have a warehouse, a New York warehouse, in Edison, New Jersey, which is an interesting thing -- and we sent them to Edison, New Jersey, they were in the warehouse, ready to go, and New York never took them,” Trump said.

Cuomo said earlier on Friday that the ventilators are in a warehouse because the New York doesn’t need them immediately. At a briefing, he showed a slide indicating that the state has received 4,400 ventilators from the federal government and that 2,400 had been distributed to hospitals.

“Yes, they’re in a stockpile because that’s where they’re supposed to be, because we don’t need them yet,” Cuomo said. “We need them for the apex, the apex isn’t here, so we’re gathering them in the stockpile so when we need them, they will be there.”

Trump said that he hopes the U.S. will soon have a surplus of ventilators to provide to other countries, saying he had fielded requests from the U.K., Germany, Italy and Spain.

“We want to have so many that we do have -- more than we need, because we can send them to other great countries, other countries that have been our friends and they’ll never be able to do it themselves,” Trump said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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