Trump: Ventilators on hold for emergency situations like Louisiana, but are they coming?
WASHINGTON D.C. (WVUE) - President Donald Trump said that he was extending the self-isolation order until April 30 during a speech on Sunday afternoon (March 29).
The word came moments after Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell held a news conference outside of the Morial Convention Center - which will be used as a step-down hospital - to talk about the state’s fight against COVID-19, also called coronavirus.
Cantrell and Edwards said they had requested thousands of respirators for Louisiana, one of the states hit hardest by the pandemic.
Edwards said despite a call to get thousands from the national stockpile, only several hundred have been delivered.
The president said many states are at risk and they are trying to calculate which critical items should go to which areas.
“We also have right now in the stockpile in almost 10,000 ventilators that we have to hold in case of emergency. We don’t want them going out and then Louisiana has a tremendous problem which we now they do,” Trump said. “You know, all of a sudden, it all came very quickly. I mean, Louisiana was doing so tremendously and now all of a sudden there is a tremendous rash of cases. So we have to be prepared to move the ventilators. They are very important pieces of equipment. They’re very expensive.”
Trump praised Edwards and the response to COVID-19 during the press conference.
The comment did not provide clarity on the state’s request for 5,000 ventilators. Edwards and Cantrell have said they understand that other states are under siege when it comes to coronavirus. They are looking to other vendors to help fill the gap.
A step-down facility is expected to open in the next seven days at the Morial Convention Center. It will have at least 1,000 beds, with another building housing 250 people affected by the illness.
As of noon, Louisiana has 3,540 positive cases and 151 deaths. The governor noted that one of those who perished was close to his office. The first case was reported on March 9.
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