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California to send 500 ventilators to national stockpile

 

California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomLegislative office estimates California budget surplus just B, not B Caitlyn Jenner in new campaign video slams California for being No. 1 in regulations, taxes and 'people exiting' California gubernatorial candidate under investigation for 1,000 lb. bear campaign mascot MORE (D) announced on Monday the state is sending 500 ventilators to the Strategic National Stockpile inventory to help states such as New York facing severe equipment shortages while fighting the novel coronavirus. 

Newsom said in a statement that California is also preparing for its own "surge" of cases but that "we can’t turn our back on Americans whose lives depend on having a ventilator now."

"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,” he said. "We’re meeting this moment with compassion."

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The move comes as officials in states such as New York and Louisiana warn that their COVID-19 outbreaks are straining the capacity of their health care systems and leading to dire shortages of equipment including ventilators, which provide oxygen to severely ill patients. 

New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoCDC mask update sparks confusion, opposition New York City Marathon returning with smaller field Cuomo book deal worth at least .1 million: report MORE (D) has said that his state will need up to 37,000 ventilators when the "apex" of the outbreak hits. 

In addition to California, Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeWashington bans open carry of weapons at state capitol, public protests Washington state to provide free menstrual hygiene products in school bathrooms Cuomo signs legislation restoring voting rights to felons upon release from prison MORE (D) said Sunday that his state would return more than 400 ventilators it received from the federal government so they can go to areas experiencing more severe impacts. 

“I’ve said many times over the last few weeks: We are in this together,” Inslee said, according to The Associated Press. “This should guide all of our actions at an individual and state level in the coming days and weeks.”

Newsom's office said last month that California had 7,500 ventilators throughout its hospital systems before the COVID-19 outbreak. The state has set a goal of adding 10,000 ventilators to its own stockpile. 

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The supply of ventilators and personal protective equipment has become a source of fear for many states in recent weeks, with governors saying they've been forced to compete with each other on the open market for supplies. President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP-led Maricopa County board decries election recount a 'sham' Analysis: Arpaio immigration patrol lawsuit to cost Arizona county at least 2 million Conservatives launch 'anti-cancel culture' advocacy organization MORE has promised that an additional 100,000 ventilators will be manufactured in the U.S. 

But federal officials told the House Oversight and Reform Committee last week that the bulk of those will not be available until late June at the earliest. The officials said only 9,500 ventilators are in the national stockpile currently, according to a report from the committee.