In his ongoing campaign to play down the COVID-19 outbreak, President Donald Trump on Thursday night tried to cast doubt on the ventilator shortage crisis in New York hospitals.
Trump claimed during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) request for an additional 30,000 ventilators was overblown.
“I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators,” the President told Hannity.
“You go into major hospitals sometimes and they’ll have two ventilators,” he continued. “And now all of a sudden they’re saying ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?'”
Trump piggybacked that comment with yet another push for Americans to go back to work as soon as possible despite medical professionals’ emphasis on social distancing to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.
“So it’s a very bad situation, we haven’t seen anything like it but the end result is we’ve got to get back to work,” Trump said. “And I think we can start by opening up certain parts of the country.”
In reality, numerous health care workers have sounded the alarm over the shortage of ventilators, which are critical to combating the deadly virus.
Dr. Colleen Smith, an emergency room doctor at Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens, New York, told the New York Times that her hospital had only received five ventilators one day.
“Unless people die, I suspect we’ll be back to needing to beg for ventilators again in another day or two,” she said.
Watch Trump below:
Trump downplays the number of ventilators needed in New York amid COVID-19: "I don't believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators." pic.twitter.com/anMXOY4wIU
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) March 27, 2020