Local hospitals push back on Cuomo's ventilator order

Apr 4, 2020

It’s a move many in the upstate healthcare industry are resisting. But Governor Andrew Cuomo says it’s about saving lives and containing the COVID-19 outbreak.

Governor Cuomo wants to shift a percentage of unused ventilators in upstate medical facilities, to those in downstate areas like New York City.
Credit Misha Friedman / Getty Images/NPR.org

“If you ask hospitals today what ventilators do you have that are unused and available that they don’t need in the short term, and take 20% of that number of available ventilators, that’s 500 ventilators," said Cuomo.

Kaleida Health President and CEO Jody Lomeo is in contrast with the Governor's order

“I stand shoulder to shoulder with our physicians, nurses, and staff to oppose this executive order that is designed to pit upstate versus downstate," Lomeo said. "In a time of crisis, we do not have the luxury of spending time on public fights and mandates like this.”

Cuomo likened his directive to redistribute ventilators, to the famed Lend-Lease Program President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted in the midst of the Second World War.

“His [FDR's] point was it’s a common enemy, and we want to contain the enemy," said Governor Cuomo. "And that other countries fight is actually our fight, and if we don’t stop the spread, then it’s going to burn down our own country.”

In a statement, Catholic Health said they "are willing to help their fellow New Yorkers," but did mention their ventilators are projected to be at full use as soon as mid-April.

Despite rumors being circulated online, both Kaleida and Roswell Park have confirmed the National Guard has not taken any ventilators from their facilities as of yet.