WORLD New York 'finally' gets 'good news' as China donates 1,000 ventilators

WORLD

New York 'finally' gets 'good news' as China donates 1,000 ventilators

CGTN

09:38, April 05, 2020

A donation of 1,000 ventilators are set to arrive in New York City on Saturday local time from China, said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

"We finally got some good news today," said the governor on Twitter. "The Chinese government helped facilitate a donation of 1,000 ventilators that will arrive in JFK (Airport) today."

Both on Twitter and at a press briefing on Saturday morning, Cuomo expressed thanks to Chinese business magnates and Alibaba co-founders Jack Ma and Joe Tsai, Jack Ma Foundation and The Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation.

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Screenshot from Twitter

He also thanked Chinese Consul General in New York Huang Ping for "his help in making all of this happen."

"Because this is a big deal, and it's going to make a significant difference for us," said the governor.

The donation is a timely assistance for the state fighting at the U.S. epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, which will run out of ventilators in less than a week, according to Cuomo.

The announced shipments come one day after President Donald Trump said he couldn't assure New York that they would get the ventilators they badly need, saying the federal government has more states to worry about.

"No. They should've had more ventilators at the time. They should've had more ventilators, they were totally under-serviced," Trump said Friday in response to a question from ABC's Jon Karl. "We happen to think (Cuomo's) well-served with ventilators, we're going to find out. But we have other states to take care of.

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Screenshot from Twitter

Cuomo, on the other hand, does not think Trump and the federal government are doing enough to help New York as their protective and health care equipment shortage has gotten increasingly dire.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has sent about 4,000 ventilators to New York as of Wednesday, according to the New York Times. When the agency sent 400 ventilators to New York last month, Cuomo said it was not enough at a March 24 press conference. 

"What am I going to do with 400 ventilators when I need 30,000?" Cuomo said. "You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die because you only sent 400 ventilators."

The governor signed an executive order on Friday that allows the state to take ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) from institutions that do not currently need them and redistribute them to where they are needed the most.

The state had reported 113,704 COVID-19 cases and 3,565 related fatalities by Saturday morning, said the governor. Both figures topped the charts of confirmed cases and deaths in the United States, which now has over 270,000 confirmed cases.

Cuomo disclosed on Tuesday that his brother, CNN television news anchor Chris Cuomo, had tested positive for COVID-19, saying that coronavirus is "more dangerous" than expected.

New York plans to build eight temporary hospitals to meet an expected surge in coronavirus patients and the state's goal to get to 140,000 hospital bed capacity from the current 53,000 available, Cuomo reiterated.

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