For Gov. Cuomo, a decision he made a couple of years ago is coming back to haunt him.
The citizens are going to pay a steep price for a decision Gov. Andrew Cuomo made in 2015, he refused to fix a shortfall and by the recommended 16,000 ventilators suggested to stock up the state’s stockpile in case of a pandemic. Instead, Cuomo spent money on solar panels and according to New York’s Lieutenant Governor Betsy McCaughey (R) established “triage officers” to decide in a crisis who would get a ventilator and who would be left to die.
His office also decided that in the event of a pandemic they would establish a lottery to help decide who would get a ventilator.
The Lt. Gov of New York wrote:
“After learning that the state’s stockpile of medical equipment had 16,000 fewer ventilators than New Yorkers would need in a severe pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo came to a fork in the road in 2015. He could have chosen to buy more ventilators. Instead, he asked his health commissioner, Howard Zucker to assemble a task force and draft rules for rationing the ventilators they already had.
That task force came up with rules that will be imposed when ventilators run short. Patients assigned a red code will have the highest access, and other patients will be assigned green, yellow or blue (the worst) depending on a “triage officer’s” decision. In truth, a death officer. Let’s not sugarcoat it. It won’t be up to your own doctor.
Cuomo could have purchased the additional 16,000 needed ventilators for $36,000 apiece or a total of $576 million in 2015. It’s a lot of money but less than the $750 million he threw away on a boondoggle “Buffalo Billion” solar panel factory. When it comes to state budget priorities, spending half a percent of the budget on ventilators is a no brainer.
Now the pandemic is actually here. Cuomo’s grim reaper rules will be applied. New York City’s deputy commissioner for disease control Demetre Daskalakis is anticipating “some very serious difficult decisions.” So far, in New York City, 1 out of every 4 people with a confirmed case has been hospitalized, and 44% of them have needed a ventilator.
The task force claimed there was no point in buying ventilators because there’s also a shortage of doctors and nurses trained to use them. Five years ago, that problem could have been fixed, too. Even now, the National Disaster Medical System can send staff to hot spots like New York.”
Now all of sudden Cuomo is crying for ventilators and equipment, Cuomo said, “Do we have enough beds, do we have enough gloves, enough PPE equipment? There is something called the Federal Defense Procurement Act. This is a war. Treat it like a war. Say to the manufacturers in this country, I need you to build these pieces of equipment quickly, certainly the gear, the machine next to me, the ventilator, this is going to be the matter of life and death for people. We now have about 5,000, 6,000 ventilators in New York State. We are going to need about 30,000 ventilators because these people who have come in all have respiratory illnesses.”
He also called on the President to nationalize medical equipment because it’s too hard to obtain.
Gov. Cuomo had an opportunity to protect his state and he failed, now New Yorkers are going to pay the price.
Another fine example of liberal policies.
You can read the full report from New York’s Lieutenant Governor Betsy McCaughey here.