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Thomas Gallatin / April 1, 2020

Cuomo’s Fateful Decision

The New York governor opted against advice in 2015 that the state stockpile ventilators in case of a pandemic.

In 2015, New York’s Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo was faced with a decision: purchase a recommended 16,000 ventilators to add to the state’s pandemic preparation stockpile, or spend the millions elsewhere. Cuomo chose to go the latter route, commissioning a task force led by his health commissioner, Howard Zucker, to come up with a rationing plan for using the state’s existing ventilators should a pandemic scenario ever become reality. In other words, create a death panel that will determine who gets the state’s limited number of ventilators.

Furthermore, instead of spending $576 million on 16,000 ventilators, Cuomo elected to waste $750 million of the state’s budget on a solar-panel boondoggle known as the Buffalo Billion.

Now, five short years later, that unthinkable pandemic is here and New York, the state hardest hit by the China Virus, has been caught unprepared. Cuomo daily begs the federal government for more ventilators as if it was the job of the federal government to ensure that states were fully prepared for whatever crisis may come along.

Former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey recently blasted Cuomo’s decision to forgo the advice to stockpile ventilators, writing, “In New York, rationing ventilators should be unnecessary. The state knew of the shortage, had the money, and should have bought the lifesaving equipment, instead of making a plan on who should live or die.”

What is truly amazing is that, despite his glaring mismanagement on an issue after direct warnings, Cuomo’s favorability has increased during this crisis. There are now many Democrats calling for him to be the party’s presidential nominee as opposed to the increasingly frail Joe Biden. Much of Cuomo’s current popularity can be tied directly to a fawning media — led by his brother. As the Washington Examiner’s Eddie Scarry observes, “It’s weird watching CNN’s Chris Cuomo interview his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, almost every single night, but it’s even more weird that the national media are treating the governor like a hero. He has done nothing remarkable in managing his state’s response to the coronavirus.” In fact, Cuomo’s decision five years ago has likely cost New York lives.

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