Though he predicts that the state’s coronavirus “surge” won’t occur until May, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has sent (loaned) 500 ventilators back to the national stockpile, shipping them directly to heavily affected states.
Newsom made the announcement Monday, and Tuesday the machines were shipped from Sacramento.
CA's 500 ventilators will begin to ship out today:
Committed to the health of every Californian. Practicing our duty as Americans to take care of one another. I know other states would do the same. pic.twitter.com/5y5hquISew
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) April 7, 2020
At the beginning of the pandemic, California had about 7,500 ventilators across the state’s hospital systems and aimed to get another 10,000 ventilators, according to the press release. “To date, the state has added 4,252 ventilators, approximately 1,000 of which needed to be refurbished,” it said.
Newsom said California was in position to assist other states in part because hospitals had made strides in obtaining more equipment. California hospitals have increased their collection from around 7,500 machines to more than 11,000 in the last few weeks, Newsom said.
Newsom stressed that the machines were not given away (after he faced criticism when it was reported that the state had a ventilator stockpile in previous years and gave them away rather than maintain them) but simply lent, and expressed confidence that should California ultimately need the machines back after the states they were lent to were finished using them, that the governors of those states would send them back.
Let’s hope that California truly has bent the curve and will not need these ventilators back. In the meantime, it’s wonderful to see the nation’s governors working together to ensure that medical equipment gets to where it is needed most acutely.