Statement from Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay, Assemblyman Brian Manktelow & Senator Patty Ritchie on Gov. Cuomos Executive Order to Redistribute Ventilators & Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Ventilators and PPE are the last lines of defense in a fight that we cannot afford to lose. The governors Executive Order to move life-saving equipment to downstate hospitals seems to be a reasonable premise executed with reckless overreach.
We all see the tragic impacts of the COVID-19 virus and recognize the urgency in New York City. If help is needed, it should be provided. But this is a life-and-death effort that demands precision and a collaborative approach, not a unilateral order that activates the National Guard as if we were in a state of martial law.
Taking away ventilators and PPE from upstate healthcare providers must only be done in an agreed-upon manner that keeps people and patients informed, while preserving the level of care that hospitals can provide. We cannot ignore that COVID-19 is present in every region and will become more prevalent upstate over the coming weeks. In addition, the amount of expendable equipment in many facilities is scarce at best.
Gov. Cuomo is quick to remind New Yorkers that the COVID-19 crisis is a war against an invisible enemy. Upstates healthcare network cannot be stripped of its most important weapons.