By Chuck Ross
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday that the Chinese government has arranged to send 1,000 ventilators to help the Empire State deal with the coronavirus pandemic that originated from China.
“This is a big deal, and it’s going to make a significant difference for us,” Cuomo said at a daily press conference.
Cuomo said that Jack Ma and Joseph Tsai, the founders of Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce company, have arranged to donate the ventilators in coordination with Beijing. The equipment will arrive at JFK airport on Saturday, the governor said.
Cuomo has battled with the U.S. government to provide ventilators to New York as it deals with the highest hospitalization rates for coronavirus in the country. Cuomo said that 15,905 New Yorkers are currently hospitalized with coronavirus. More than 4,100 of those are in the ICU.
“We got really good news today that the Chinese government is going to facilitate a donation of 1,000 ventilators that will come into JFK today,” said Cuomo.
“This is a big deal and it’s going to make a significant difference for us”: 1,000 donated ventilators will arrive at JFK today from China, Gov. Cuomo announces https://t.co/j4xc56ss4S pic.twitter.com/AzKCVBUE5u
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 4, 2020
The Chinese government has waged a propaganda campaign to highlight its donations of medical equipment to other countries, even though some of the supplies have been defective.
Nearly half of the 1.3 million masks that the Chinese government donated to the Netherlands were found to be defective. Eighty percent of coronavirus test kits that Beijing provided the Czech Republic and Spain did not work.
While Cuomo thanked the Alibaba founders and Chinese ambassador for the donation, he asserted that the U.S. needs to fix supply chain issues that have forced hospitals to rely on China for ventilators and other medical equipment.
“China is remarkably the repository for all of these orders — ventilators, PPE (personal protective equipment) — it all goes back to China,” Cuomo said.
“Which long term we have to figure out why we ended up in this situation where we don’t have the manufacturing capacity in this country.”
“We need the capacity in this country to do this.”
The novel coronavirus strain is believed to have emerged out of a Wuhan wildlife food market in November 2019. Chinese officials waited nearly six weeks to inform outside health organizations about the new virus. They also cracked down on physicians in Wuhan who alerted peers outside of China about the threat of a pandemic.
The Central Intelligence Agency also reportedly believes that the Chinese government has vastly undercounted coronavirus infections and deaths.
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