Erie County leaders say no ventilators were taken from Western New York hospitals

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–As the coronavirus pandemic escalates in New York City, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that hospitals throughout the state have to send ventilators and other supplies downstate to help.

“Once we reach our apex in this community, all the ventilators that are in the community now, available for the health of members in this community are still in the community,” said Buffalo’s Mayor Byron Brown.

On Saturday, several tweets were shared, saying the National Guard took 30 ventilators from Buffalo General Medical Center.

One of the people who posted about ventilators being taken from area hospitals was State Senator and Congressional candidate Chris Jacobs.

Jacobs later deleted that tweet. We reached out to him for comment but haven’t heard back at this time.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown says no such thing happened.

“The County Executive has said that he will not allow any ventilators to leave this community.”

Kaleida Health also released a statement saying, the National Guard was not at Buffalo General Medical Center or any other hospitals.

In that same statement, Kaleida says they will continue to fight the Governor’s order in an effort to protect patients, physicians, and nurses.

Catholic Health says they understand why governor Cuomo is taking this action and if the system has capacity, they are willing to help fellow New Yorkers. But catholic health expects to have all its ventilators in use by mid-April.

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center also expects they’ll need to use more ventilators over the next few weeks, as they anticipate the number of COVID- 19 patients to rise.

Governor Cuomo’s executive order is to take 20 percent of upstate hospitals’ equipment and supplies.

Cuomo says the ventilators being taken will be returned or they’ll reimburse the hospitals.

“I think we all feel the same this stresses this country and this state in a way nothing else has frankly in my lifetime, it stresses us on every level.”

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