ALBANY — In early April, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo warned that the state may need 40,000 ventilators and up to 150,000 hospital beds — projections that would prove to be far beyond the state’s actual needs.
In response to those initial concerns, his administration began spending hundreds of millions of dollars to purchase thousands of ventilators, mobile X-ray machines and “BiPAP” breathing-assistance devices, most of which were never used.
Although the inventory of the state’s medical stockpiles is arguably a matter of public record, the governor’s office declined to provide details on how much medical and personal protective equipment are now in its reserves — much of it stored at large industrial warehouses in Guilderland, at Oriskany, Oneida County, and a facility in the New York City region.
The office did, however, promptly provide a breakdown of its expenditures during the pandemic, including listing $278 million to purchase more than 8,800 ventilators; $94.4 million to buy 1,179 mobile X-ray machines; and $60.7 million for more than 17,000 “oxygen concentrators” — a category the administration said encompasses the BiPAP devices.
On April 7, as the governor appeared on MSNBC to report that New York had …read more
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