Cuomo orders shift in ventilators to overwhelmed hospitals

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FILE - In this March 31, 2020 file photo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at the USTA Indoor Training Center where a 350-bed temporary hospital will be built in New York. De Blasio is calling for a national enlistment program for doctors and nurses, on Friday, April 3, to handle an expected surge in coronavirus cases in New York and other places around the country. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

NEW YORK – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would order the redistribution of critically needed ventilators. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for a national enlistment program for doctors and nurses. And the coronavirus outbreak picked up speed with more deaths and more hospitalizations.

The latest developments in New York:

VENTILATOR REDEPLOYMENT

Cuomo said Friday he will sign an order to redistribute hundreds of ventilators to hospitals overwhelmed with coronavirus patients amid a surge in outbreak-related deaths and hospitalizations.

New York state tallied its biggest daily jump yet in deaths— up 562 to 2,935. Almost 15,000 people were hospitalized.

“You have more deaths, you have more people coming into hospitals than any other night,” a weary sounding Cuomo told a state Capitol news briefing.

As of Friday evening, New York City on its own tallied 1,867 deaths.

New York City hospitals are filling up with COVID-19 patients, and officials fear they will soon run out of breathing machines for intensive care patients. Cuomo said his executive order will allow the state to redeploy excess ventilators and protective equipment from hospitals and other institutions. He said there could be several hundred excess ventilators.