This press release and press conference detail an April 3 executive order issued by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo authorizing the National Guard to take ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) from institutions in the state that do not currently need them and redistribute these resources to hospitals with highest needs.
In the press conference, the governor noted that the move is intended to avert a situation in which resource scarcity, particularly for ventilators, leads to deaths in some parts of the state while hospitals in other areas have resources that are not in use. The plan calls for the state to either return the equipment or reimburse hospitals for replacements. Many of the resources are likely to go to New York City, which according to some current projections will run out of available ventilators within 6 days.
Resource reallocation locally, regionally, and nationally is likely to be a necessary step to extend current resources as long as possible while awaiting resupply either from existing stockpiles or new production. Existing state and federal stockpiles of some critical supplies, including ventilators and PPE, are reportedly already beginning to run short. To the extent existing resources can be extended through redistribution, it may delay or avert the need to ration scarce resources among patients.