Statement from Senator Fred Akshar on Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order to Seize Ventilators and PPE from Upstate Hospitals

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From the office of Senator Fred Akshar:

Today I watched along with New Yorkers in communities across our state in utter disbelief as I heard our Governor struggle to describe his plan to use the National Guard to forcibly seize ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) from Upstate hospitals to add to New York City’s stockpile as “borrowing.”

My disbelief turned to disgust as I watched the Governor compare seizing rare, extremely expensive, life-saving equipment to borrowing an extra power drill from your neighbor.

The Governor has already been sending Coronavirus patients to Upstate hospitals, and our communities by-and-large are more than willing to help treat those in need.

But how will our hospitals be able to treat these downstate patients, let alone the coming surge of cases within our own communities with our ventilators seized and shipped back down to New York City?

The Governor also promised to pay for the hospitals to purchase new ventilators in the very same breath he used to outline the ventilator shortage and the difficulty in acquiring new ones.

No matter how much mental or verbal gymnastics our Governor attempts to play on national television to justify this action, it doesn’t change the facts:

Governor Cuomo is transporting Coronavirus patients for treatment Upstate while forcibly seizing ventilators and other equipment to send downstate.

This puts our communities in a dangerous position. Our National Guard could be better used helping contain the spread, stopping unnecessary travel from areas hit hardest by the virus and most importantly transporting equipment and supplies to all of our communities in need.

No matter how many seals, posters or Powerpoint presentations the Governor plasters “E. Pluribus Unum” across, those words are only as good as the action that follows.

The Governor’s actions show he only cares about New York City and doesn’t think twice about the needs of the rest of the state when they inconvenience him.

Our numbers may be lower than New York City but that’s only because we don’t have an adequate number of test kits. What a convenient problem to have when you’ve decided to seize upstate hospital equipment.

My plea to Governor Cuomo is the same today as it was three weeks ago. We need more test kits and PPE’s so we can keep our amazing and heroic doctors, nurses and first responders safe.

Every New Yorker’s life matters.

God bless, stay safe and stay healthy.

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