Even if New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gets the 30,000 ventilators he has asked for, finding enough skilled workers to operate them all is the real challenge, medical experts say.
Coronavirus, which causes respiratory complications, has placed a colossal strain on New York hospitals with more than 59,000 cases, including 965 deaths, and increased demand for ventilators.
However, despite Cuomo saying that the machines are 'what missiles were to WWII' there are 7,713 respiratory specialists in his state licensed to operate ventilators.
Anthony Everidge, a member of the American Association of Respiratory Care, told the New York Post: 'I read that Gov. Cuomo said that ventilators are to coronavirus what missiles were to WWII. While I am sure this is true, you would not have grabbed a front-line soldier off the battlefield, put him in the fighter cockpit and expect him to fly the plane, launch the missiles and defeat the enemy.
Despite Cuomo saying that the machines are 'what missiles were to WWII' there are 7,713 respiratory specialists in his state licensed to operate ventilators.
Cuomo said Friday: 'The hospitals aren't at their apex. The hospitals have enough ventilators today, but their numbers are going up'
'The outcome would be disastrous and would only compound the problem. The analogy applies to ventilators and the successful operation and management of the mechanical ventilator.'
Everidge said he is concerned that there will 'not be enough' medics to operate the machines which help patients to breathe by pumping the lungs full of air with a tube put into the nose or mouth.
On Sunday, Cuomo told a press conference that an army of 76,019 health care workers and retirees had volunteered to help New York's flailing hospitals.
Of those, just 669 were respiratory therapists.
The governor said that the request for 30,000 ventilators is based on projections of future need. As of Friday, hospitals in New York had enough ventilators, the governor said.
The governor clashed with President Donald Trump last week who said he had made ventilators available but they had been left sitting in storage.