President Trump jabbed New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for a decision he made in 2015 to pass by an opportunity to stock up on ventilators.
Cuomo, who has been governor since 2011, decided not to buy the 16,000 additional ventilators recommended to the state in case of a pandemic and instead commissioned a group to come up with guidelines as to how ventilators would be rationed if such a pandemic were to occur.
During an interview on Fox News Tuesday, Trump questioned Cuomo’s decision not to fill the state’s stockpile before the coronavirus hit New York.
“He had a chance to buy in 2015 16,000 ventilators at a very low price, and he turned it down. I’m not blaming him or anything else. But he shouldn’t be talking about us. He’s supposed to be buying his own ventilators. We are going to help,” the president said.
He continued, “If you think about it, Gov. Cuomo, we are building him four hospitals. We are building him four medical centers. We’re working very, very hard for the people of New York. We’re working along with him. And then, I watch him on the show complaining. And he had 16,000 ventilators that he could have had at a great price, and he didn’t buy them.”
In a press conference just before Trump spoke, Cuomo called the 400 ventilators the federal government had sent New York a “pat on the back” because they needed 30,000. However, Vice President Mike Pence soon after announced that the federal government will have sent 4,000 ventilators to the state by Wednesday.
New York is facing the worst coronavirus issues in the United States, with more than 25,000 infected and more than 200 dead. Ventilators are necessary for advanced cases of COVID-19 that have been attacking elderly individuals or others with preexisting conditions.