Trump cast doubt Thursday on New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s assertion that his state, which has become the epicenter for the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, will need 30,000 ventilators to properly care for the influx of patients anticipated to flood hospitals in coming weeks.
“I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they’re going to be,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity in a phone interview. “I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators. You know, you go into major hospitals sometimes they’ll have two ventilators, and now all of a sudden they’re saying, ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?’”
The president’s comments came shortly after the New York Times reported that the White House had abruptly called off a plan to announce this week that General Motors and Ventec Life Systems would partner to produce as many as 80,000 ventilators, citing concerns with the deal’s $1 billion price tag.
Trump made no mention of the canceled announcement while chatting with Hannity on Thursday night, but he did stress that the critical machinery is not cheap.
“When you talk about ventilators, that’s sort of like buying a car,” he said. “It’s very expensive. It’s a very intricate piece of equipment … The good ones are very, very expensive.”