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Bello: We’re not in a position to be giving up ventilators

Jennifer Lewke
Created: April 06, 2020 06:23 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — On Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would sign an executive order giving the state the ability to take ventilators and PPE from Upstate hospitals that weren’t using them and send it down to the New York City area where the pandemic is hitting harder.

Gov. Cuomo said he would begin using the National Guard to collect the equipment.  

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The order caused a bit of a panic among Upstate New Yorkers, lawmakers and health systems that have been planning for the apex to hit.  

A group of Upstate lawmakers put out a joint statement calling the executive order “reckless and dangerous.” 

Over the weekend, the governor seemed to pull back a bit on the order, instead asking health systems to assess what their needs will be in the coming weeks and determine whether they could safely “donate” up to 20% of their supply.  

On Monday, News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke spoke with Monroe County Executive Adam Bello about it.

Jennifer Lewke: “I'm wondering if over the weekend, if you had any contact with the Governor's office, if they are looking at any Rochester area health systems to take any of those supplies from?”

Adam Bello: “So, I have had conversations with the governor's office that echo what I said in my statement and where I think we are in Monroe County… Monroe County is not in that position right now [to share].  We are still reaching toward the top of the curve, we are still going up and through our efforts with the hospital systems to understand the day to day needs of our PPE and also the need of our ventilators. The number of ventilators we will need in the next couple of weeks, we are not a donor community when it comes to that.”

When asked whether there was any threat of the National Guard coming in, “I've had no indication that that is going to happen,” Bello said.


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