New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announces plans to convert the Jacob Javits Center on Manhattans West Side into a field hospital as Coronavirus cases continue to rise on March 23, 2020 in New York. - Anxiety ratcheted up across New York, the epicenter of America's coronavirus pandemic, Monday with streets eerily quiet at the start of the working week as officials warn the crisis will worsen.As the number of deaths in the United States from COVID-19 soars towards 500, the Big Apple finds itself at Ground Zero in the fight to stem the fast-breaking outbreak.

Trump Blasts Cuomo for Not Buying Ventilators in 2015

President Trump blasted Gov. Andrew Cuomo Tuesday for failing to seize the opportunity to acquire 16,000 ventilators in 2015 to prepare for a potential future pandemic.

“He had 16,000 ventilators that he could have bought and he didn’t buy them. He should’ve ordered the ventilators,” Trump said during a Fox News town hall. “They can’t blame us for that. Gov. Cuomo is supposed to be buying his own ventilators.”

The President was referring to an op-ed that appeared in The Post Friday by former Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey, who said that in 2015, Cuomo and other state officials learned that in a potential pandemic, New York would need 18,000 ventilators but only had 2,000 on hand.

Then-state health commissioner Howard Zucker assembled a task force for rationing the ventilators they already had that recommended that the state not purchase the 16,000 ventilators because there weren’t enough doctors and medical personnel to operate them.

Editor’s Note: Whoops.

Instead, the task force devised a classification system to prioritize which patients would be treated on a ventilator.

Trigger Warning: The following content may be disturbing to rational, thinking persons who rightfully fear socialized medicine.

“Patients assigned a red code will have highest access, and other ­patients will be assigned green, yellow or blue (the worst), ­depending on a ‘triage officer’s’ decision. In truth, a death officer. Let’s not sugar-coat it. It won’t be up to your own doctor,” McCaughey wrote.

Cuomo attacked the federal government early Tuesday for its failure to magically create several thousand ventilators out of thin air.

“You want a pat on the back for sending 400 ventilators?” asked Cuomo, referring to the number FEMA was sending to New York. “What are we going to do with 400 ventilators?”

“You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die,” said Cuomo

WIBC host Tony Katz offers commentary below.

Photo: Bryan R. Smith/Getty Images
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