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Trump Says U.S. States Don't Need the Amount of Ventilators They Requested

Newsweek logo Newsweek 3/27/2020 Jeffery Martin
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President Donald Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday evening that he believes that the coronavirus battle will not require the number of medical equipment that have been requested by some states.

Trump has been the subject of criticism over the distribution of medical equipment from federal stockpiles, with some state governors saying they do not have enough ventilators available to properly care for patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

"FEMA says, 'we're sending 400 ventilators," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a Wednesday news conference. "Really? What am I going to do with 400 ventilators when I need 30,000?"

"I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said for some areas are just bigger than they're going to be," Trump said. "I don't believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators. You know, at a major hospital sometimes they'll have two ventilators. All of a sudden they're saying, 'Can we order 30,000 ventilators?'"

"Look, it's a very bad situation," the president continued. "We haven't seen anything like it. But the end result is we gotta get back to work and I think we can start by opening up certain parts of the country."

While many lawmakers have asked Trump to use the powers of the Defense Production Act (DPA) in order to impel American manufacturers to create more medical equipment, the president said companies have "stepped up" and volunteered to make them on their own.

"I haven't had to use [the DPA]," Trump said. "Ford stepped up, so many companies stepped up and they're making vast amounts of things."

a close up of Donald Trump with a beard looking at the camera: President Donald Trump said Thursday he doesn't believe U.S. states need as much medical equipment to fight coronavirus as they have asked for. © Drew Angerer/Getty President Donald Trump said Thursday he doesn't believe U.S. states need as much medical equipment to fight coronavirus as they have asked for.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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