SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — California is sending 500 state-owned ventilators to the Strategic National Stockpile to help New York and other states that are in immediate need for them because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the governor’s office.
California is joining Washington and Oregon in loaning the ventilators to New York which is battling the nation’s worst COVID-19 outbreak. Oregon announced Saturday it was sending 140 ventilators to New York, while Washington said Sunday it was returning 400 of the 500 ventilators it received from the federal government because of New York’s need.
“California is stepping up to help our fellow Americans in New York and across the country who are being impacted the hardest right now by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gov Gavin Newsom in a prepared statement. “We still have a long road ahead of us in the Golden State – and we’re aggressively preparing for a surge – but we can’t turn our back on Americans whose lives depend on having a ventilator now. We’re meeting this moment with compassion. I know that if the tables were turned and we were experiencing a hospital surge, other states would come to our aid and provide ventilators just as we are today.”
As of Monday morning, New York has more than 130,000 coronavirus cases, with nearly 4,800 deaths. California has more than 15,000 coronavirus cases and has reported 350 deaths as of Monday morning.
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In recent weeks, California’s supply of ventilators has increased from 7,500 to more than 11,000. Companies like Bloom Energy are refurbishing old ventilators and adding to California’s cache.
In Fremont, Evolve Manufacturing Technologies is transitioning from building ultrasound and DNA analysis machines to ventilators that will have 90 percent of the capabilities of those already in use by hospitals. The company will begin by building 15 vents a day and ramp up to 10,000 a week.
“So about every minute and a half, we want one to come off our line. Go in test and then go into shipping,” CEO Noreen King told KPIX 5.
“We looked at conditions on the ground and we feel confident in our ability to meed our needs as we support the needs of others,” Newsom said during his daily news conference on Monday.
Newsom calls the 500 ventilators a loan and says if they’re need in the Golden State, they’ll come back. “To the extent that other Americans need our support, our largesse, we have the resources, we’re going to be there for as many people as we possibly can, but know this – we are also taking care of our 40 million Californians,” Newsom said.
Andria Borba contributed to this report.