Cuomo Pushes Back On Trump’s Ventilator Skepticism: ‘I Operate On Facts’

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) speaks to the press in New York City on March 27, 2020. (Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images)
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March 27, 2020 1:11 p.m.
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Friday countered President Donald Trump’s statement that he doesn’t “believe” the Empire State needs tens of thousands of ventilators for hospital workers to treat COVID-19 patients.

On Thursday night, Trump claimed that the number of ventilators Cuomo had requested was excessive.

“I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators,” he told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “You go into major hospitals sometimes and they’ll have two ventilators, and now all of a sudden they’re saying ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?'”

“Everybody is entitled to their own opinion,” Cuomo said on Friday during a press conference from Manhattan’s Javits Center, which is being turned into a hospital. “But I don’t operate here on opinion. I operate on facts and on data and on numbers and on projections.”

The governor pointed to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health experts, which have projected that New York will need approximately 140,000 hospital beds and 40,000 ventilators when the coronavirus outbreak in the state reaches its apex.

“Those are numbers, Zach,” Cuomo told a reporter. “Not ‘I feel,’ ‘I think,’ ‘I believe’ ‘I want to believe.’”

“Make the decisions based on the data and the science,” he continued. “And we’re following the data and the science, and that’s what the data and the science says.”

Cuomo also stated that there are now over 44,000 COVID-19 cases in New York, which has become the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S.

Near the end of the press conference, the governor concluded his speech one of the most New York ways possible: “I say, my friends, that we go out there today and we kick coronavirus’ ass.”

Watch Cuomo below:

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
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