COVID-19 patients whose conditions are critical need ventilators as this could be the difference between life and death for them. As their inflamed lungs are filled with fluid, these ventilators help in alleviating the drastic effect. According to an expert on infectious diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, at least 20 percent of COVID-19 patients, will need to be hospitalized. While most cases in New York City have been mild so far, the governor Andrew Cuomo estimates that at least 40 percent of the 20 million residents could become infected.
Meanwhile, Trump took to twitter to blame everyone else but himself for the national shortage of hospital ventilators needed to treat COVID-19 patients across the country. Just hours earlier, he had been on a Fox News interview where he downplayed the shortage. However, in the series of tweets that followed, President Trump blamed General Motors and Mary Barra, its CEO, for not manufacturing more ventilators. His tweet stated,
According to the president, the “P” in the tweet meant the Defense Production Act. A lot of governors in the United States have been demanding that Trump uses this act to compel businesses to produce medical supplies and equipment badly needed to combat the pandemic. However, Trump claims that just the threat of using it has spurred companies to increase their rate of production, thereby justifying his reason for not issuing any specific orders yet under this act.
In his next tweet, Trump attacked General Motors for shutting down its auto manufacturing plant in Lordstown, Ohio. He demanded that the facility be reopened for producing ventilators without invoking the Defense Production Act. General Motors sold this manufacturing plant in November. His tweet stated,
Without referencing any of Trump’s tweets, General Motors and Ventec Life Systems announced shortly after that they would be forming a partnership to build ventilators that would be ready for shipping as early as April.
According to New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, the state needs thousands of ventilators to treat patients in New York, which has been hit the most by the coronavirus in the country. So far, almost 40,000 people tested positive for the coronavirus, with not less than 500 deaths recorded. Cuomo wasn’t too happy to learn that the Federal Emergency Management Agency would be sending 400 ventilators when he needs at least 30,000. His estimation for the ventilators required is based on the prediction that the number of patients who will be in pressing need of these ventilators will increase over the next few months. Currently, the state has about 12,000 ventilators, while Trump says he will send an extra 4000. Whether his numbers are inflated or not as claimed by Trump, Cuomo says that he would strive to have about 30,000 more ventilators, which is better than a shortage when in dire need of them.