Governor Cuomo made an urgent appeal Thursday to any manufacturers that are willing and able to produce personal protective equipment, or PPE, such as N-95 masks, face shields and plastic gowns, which will go to hopital workers treating COVID-19 patients.
"It’s a business opportunity,” he said. “It’s a state need … There will be no bureaucracy, no red tape.”
Cuomo said the state would finance a manufacturer that needs machinery to transition to making PPE, and buy the product once it’s ready.
“We will purchase these products,” he said, “and we will pay a premium.”
Right now, he said, “everyone is shopping China for PPE,” leading to short supplies.
It’s too late now to begin making ventilators in time for New York’s peak of infection, expected sometime in the next seven to 21 days, the governor said. The state is hurriedly seeking to purchase any ventilators it can find that are ready now. Estimates are that New York may need 30,000 ventilators at the apex of infection.
The state sent 400 ventilators to New York City and 200 to Long Island and Westchester today.
There are enough ventilators in the state’s stockpile to last six days, Cuomo said.
The state is forbidding elective surgeries to free up ventilators, and hospitals are making use of anesthesia ventilators and splitting ventilators so there are two breathing tubes per machine, rather than one, the governor said.