NEW YORK - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday warned that the city's hospitals would run out of essential medical supplies in about two to three weeks as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to overwhelm the state with surging positive tests.
While officials expect the vast majority of coronavirus cases won't require hospitalization, hospitals around the state have been bracing for an onslaught of patients. Officials are worried that medical centers will run out of key items needed to treat them.
"We are two weeks or three weeks away from running out of the supplies that we need most for our hospitals," de Blasio said, ticking off a list of staggering numbers of items he said health care workers in the nation's largest city needs by early April: 3 million masks, 50 million surgical masks, 15,000 ventilators, and 25 million each of surgical gowns, coveralls, gloves, and face masks.
He reiterated pleas for the federal government and U.S. military to help provide the items. De Blasio called the president's decision to not mobilize the military "immoral" and said he doesn't understand why Trump hasn't given the Pentagon orders.
"President Trump, you are the Herbert Hoover of your generation,' de Blasio said. "You are watching and waiting and missing every chance to be bold and to act to protect our nation."
U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Gen. James McConville, Army chief of staff, said one Army combat support hospital and one field hospital will soon be deployed—and one of the likely locations is New York City, according to a defense official.
Also, the Pentagon said the USNS Comfort, a hospital ship, would deploy to New York but not until after undergoing maintenance in Virginia, which could take several more weeks.