The Governor has displayed strong leadership throughout this crisis. He's risen to meet many urgent needs and taken decisive action which is important in times of emergency. I've publicly applauded him for that.
Weeks ago, he put a 'surge' plan in place for hospitals in upstate and they have risen to the occasion - flexing resources to prepare their staff and facilities. It makes his latest change in direction not only confusing, but very dangerous.
I reached out to hospital officials to gauge the impact this Executive Order will have on their facilities. It is clear there's no stockpile of equipment in the North Country, just enough for us to fight our own battle with COVID-19 and save the lives of our community members who might get sick. Officials indicated they have very serious concerns and very few answers from the Governor's office.
Taking PPE from rural hospitals where resources and supply lines are already thin, runs the risk of creating more infection hot spots where our healthcare workers are fighting the curve.
If the Governors own projections are correct, taking our ventilators means that at the same time people are dying on the street in New York City, theyll be dying on a hospital floor in Massena, Ogdensburg, Potsdam, Alex Bay, Watertown and Carthage.
The Governor himself has said there are no protocols for answering the hypothetical of 'who do you choose to save when you run out of ventilators?'
I agreed when he said no one has the moral authority to choose the lives of one population of New Yorkers over another. Without a replacement plan for PPE and ventilators for upstate hospitals, that's exactly what he's done. He's chosen.
I sincerely hope the Governor reconsiders this Executive Order and allow our health professionals to have the tools they need to fight the spread and viscous attack of this virus in Northern New York."