While New York has weathered the brunt of coronavirus infections and deaths, the state’s apparent hoarding of medical supplies, and the millions spent on equipment that never arrived, as well as unused hospitals and beds, have some questioning what went wrong.
Early to mid-March projections of the spread of COVID-19 had the state scrambling to bolster its hospital bed capacity to more than double its 53,000 maximum status-quo. Subsequently, hospitals statewide were ordered to discharge patients to free up beds, and forced to add new ones as non-emergency procedures were canceled.
In addition to a bevy of state orders, Gov. Andrew Cuomo made desperate overtures to the federal government to step in. In response, and in record time, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers scrambled to erect at least four field hospitals, and the Navy deployed its USNS Comfort hospital ship to Manhattan.
However, those efforts – and the many millions of dollars spent on them – have largely been deemed a waste, even as New York has battled a soaring a death toll and is maintaining stay-at-home orders. So what happened?
“ have been extremely inaccurate,” Dr. David Samadi, a New York-based surgeon, told Fox News. “These models gave a horrifying prediction that suggested COVID-19 could kill anywhere from 200,000 to 1.7 million Americans. Currently, it looks to be more like 60,000 to 65,000 deaths. While any American life lost to this virus is a shame, the death and infection rate is looking not quite so bleak as it was in the beginning.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is in the process of shuttering the much-touted, 2,500-bed Javits Center – having treated only around 1,000 patients over the course of more than a month – The Associated Press reported.
On Thursday, the heralded Navy ship – which was equipped with 1,000 beds and intended to take the burden off other hospitals and treat non-coronavirus patients before finally taking on a handful of those with the infection – sailed away, barely used.
The three additional field hospitals Albany spent many millions on erecting in late March are yet to close, despite treating few, and are standing idle in case there is a second wave of the disease. – READ MORE
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