New York’s coronavirus response provides example for rest of country, says White House’s Dr. Deborah Birx

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NEW YORK — The White House’s coronavirus response coordinator on Sunday held up New York as an example for the rest of the country to follow.

“At this moment, we are asking every single governor and every single mayor to prepare like New York is preparing now,” Dr. Deborah Birx said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The comment came as New York State’s confirmed number of coronavirus cases reached 59,513 — with 7,195 fatalities — according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

After weeks of statements from President Trump downplaying the pandemic, the governor declared a state of emergency earlier this month. He and Mayor Bill de Blasio have pleaded for more medical supplies, especially ventilators, and support from the feds.

There was little mention of that during Birx’s appearance on “Meet the Press.”

“The one thing that we can do as Americans is we know how to innovate. So it’s not just what you have inside your doors today,” she said. “It’s how you can surge and move things around. We know this epidemic moves in waves. Each city will have its own epidemic curve. And so we can move between states, we can move within states, to meet the needs of everyone.”

On ventilators and other vital supplies, she echoed Trump’s controversial comments urging states to do their best to acquire them.

“The federal government right now is working very hard on looking at where all the ventilators are and where production can be,” Birx said. “But we need states at the same time to look where all of their ventilators are, including outpatient surgical centers, which is a really important place to be looking because you get staff plus ventilator.”

The feds have sent more than 2,000 ventilators to New York, though Cuomo says the state needs 30,000.

The city distributed 1,400 ventilators to hospitals on Saturday, according to de Blasio.


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