New York Pleads for Ventilators as Infections Double Every Three Days

New York now has more than 25,000 confirmed cases of covid-19, making the state a global hot spot for the deadly virus.
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent out an SOS Tuesday, warning that coronavirus cases are doubling every three days and the state faces a dire shortage of hospital beds and ventilators.

The Empire State now has more than 25,000 cases of covid-19, or a staggering 7% of the global total, with the number of cases of the deadly virus hurtling toward an "apex" in the next few weeks, Cuomo told reporters at a press conference at the Javits center in Manhattan, which is being converted into a 1,000-bed emergency hospital.

The New York governor urged the federal government to take stronger action to help the state, warning there are only 7,000 ventilators on hand when 30,000 are needed.

The state has only received 400 from the federal government, Cuomo said, urging the Trump administration to invoke the Defense Production Act and order private companies to make the vital medical equipment.

Trump has invoked the Korean War-era act to spur production of some medical equipment, but has argued that companies have come forward to volunteer to produce ventilators, a number that includes Boston-based General Electric  (GE) - Get Report.

"What are we doing to do with 400 when we need 30,000?" Cuomo said.

New York also faces a dire shortage of both hospital beds and ICU beds as well, with projections soaring alongside the number of infections and deaths.

The state will now need 140,000 beds, up from 110,000 just days ago, when only 53,000 are available. The number of intensive-care beds that will be needed has risen to 40,000, which Cuomo called "astronomical."

"You don't get around needing hospital beds and needing the ventilators," he said.