Ventilators to be redistributed downstate

The Associated PressIn this March 27 file photo, Gov. Andrew Cuomo briefs the media inside a nearly completed makeshift hospital at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York. On Friday, Cuomo announced that he's issuing an executive order that will allow ventilators to be redistributed from upstate hospitals to hospitals in the New York City area. He said the move is necessary to assist downstate health care facilities as they continue to contend with a high volume of COVID-19 cases.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that he's signing an executive order allowing the state to take ventilators from medical facilities in other parts of the state and redistribute them to hospitals in need in New York City. 

Cuomo said the National Guard will be mobilized to move ventilators and personal protective equipment to where they are urgently required to save lives.

The executive order could impact hospitals in Niagara County and across Western New York. 

"We do not have enough ventilators. Period," Cuomo was quoted as saying on his Twitter account following his daily briefing on the state's response to COVID-19. 

The announcement came as Cuomo announced the single-biggest daily increase in coronavirus-related deaths in New York since the outbreak began. A total of 2,935 New Yorkers have died so far, with 562 new deaths - an increase of 23% - reported in the last 24 hours. 

“The curve continues to go up,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo acknowledged that the "timing won't be perfect" because multiple states may hit a peak of cases and hospitalizations around the same time. He added that not every state will hit an apex all at once, which is why he believes "Mutual Aid" is needed. 

He again called the federal government to coordinate the overall response, saying the virus is a "national disaster," not an issue of states' rights. 

"The states need federal assistance," he said. "No state can get all the ventilators they need. We need a rolling deployment of resources. We need a national coordinated effort." 

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