The Slatest

China Sends 1,000 Ventilators to New York as Coronavirus Deaths Surge

People wear masks while walking in the Borough of Brooklyn on April 4, 2020 in New York.
People wear masks while walking in the Borough of Brooklyn on April 4, 2020 in New York.
BRYAN R. SMITH/Getty Images

China is facilitating a donation of 1,000 ventilators to New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday as the number of deaths from the coronavirus kept surging. “This is a big deal, and it’s going to make a significant difference for us,” Cuomo said. Oregon is also sending 140 ventilators to New York. As the death toll in New York alone soared past 3,560 Cuomo warned that the state was still days away from reaching a peak, emphasizing the state so far is not ready for that day to arrive. “I think we all feel the same, these stresses, this country, this state—like nothing I’ve experienced in my lifetime,” he said.

Cuomo thanked Ambassador Huang Ping and the Chinese government for helping to ship the ventilators that were made by the Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation, which is also donating one million surgical masks to the state along with the Jack Ma Foundation. Tsai and Ma founded the Chinese internet giant Aibaba. Joe Tsai owns the Brooklyn Nets.

The number of cases in New York has more than doubled since last Friday and Cuomo has repeatedly asked the federal government for assistance in obtaining ventilators. The governor said the state tried to buy 17,000 ventilators but the order could not be filled. Cuomo has warned the state’s stockpile would be depleted in less than a week. According to current projections, the peak of the infections in New York could be reached somewhere between four and 14 days.

Even as the numbers of confirmed cases across the country kept rising Saturday past the quarter-million mark and more than 8,100 deaths, at the White House, President Donald Trump accused governors of asking for things that they did not need. “Many of their cupboards were bare,” he said. He also suggested he wanted a more effusive word of thanks from Cuomo. “We have given the governor of New York more than anybody has ever been given in a long time,” he said.

On Friday Trump admitted New York may very well not have all the ventilators it needs and blamed the state government for the situation. “They should’ve had more ventilators at the time. They should’ve had more ventilators,” Trump said. “They were totally under-serviced. We are trying to do — we are doing our best for New York. You know, we have, ah, we have states, we have a lot of states — we have territories too — but we have a lot of states that have to be taken care of. Some much more so than others.” Even though the administration thinks New York is “well-served with ventilators,” Trump ominously said that “we’re gonna find out.”