The Chinese government has facilitated a donation of 1,000 ventilators to New York state, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday. The shipment is slated to arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport today.
“This is a big deal, and it’s going to make a significant difference for us,” Cuomo said during a morning press briefing. The state of Oregon is also sending 140 ventilators to New York, which has become an epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.
Cuomo said New York was conducting business with Chinese companies and cited China as a repository of essential medical equipment. He thanked Jack Ma and Joe Tsai, founders of the Chinese e-commerce juggernaut Alibaba, as well as Huang Ping, the Chinese Consul General in New York.
Cuomo also said the state had put in an order for 17,000 ventilators but that the order went unfilled, likely due to intense competition for the machines and global shortages. The national stockpile has roughly 10,000 ventilators.
Coronavirus cases have surged at a devastating pace in New York. The number of confirmed cases in the state has nearly doubled since last Friday, with a total of 113,704 cases and 3,565 deaths in the state as of Saturday, according to the governor’s office.
The Trump administration has been seeking to increase production of ventilators and other essential medical supplies in the U.S as hospitals are overwhelmed with patients.
But factories are already operating at full capacity and projections suggest that New York may not have enough of the live-saving machines by next week.
If there are a lack of ventilators for the influx of hospital patients, New York hospitals will be forced into choosing which patients will receive care. There has also been discussion of splitting ventilators between two patients.