In a press conference Saturday, Governor Newsom said California is upping its ventilator output, hoping to now acquire some 10,000 examples. The 52-year-old politician also reiterated the need for Californians to maintain proper social distancing practices amid the current pandemic.
Oh... and 170 ventilators given to California by the feds aren't working correctly — because, of course.
Live-streamed across various platforms yesterday, Newsom's recent public update offered a sobering lense into the state's plights, in lieu of panaceas: Things are going to get worse before they get better. Per CalMatters, the Golden State Governor said that the number of people in intensive care units spiked 105 percent between Friday night and Saturday morning. California, too, crossed the three-digit threshold for the state's death count yesterday; Newsom also said hospitalizations increased "more than 38 percent."
However, Newsom suggests that the state's healthcare system can, in fact, handle the looming influx of COVID-19 cases. And what are two factors that'll decide if we can succeed in treating California's severe cases of coronavirus? Ventilators — rather, the number and accessibility of them — and our ability to abide by proper social distancing practices.
“If we’re unsuccessful [treating COVID-19 patients], the one treatment we know that works?" he adds, saying that the state can treat patients accordingly — if social distancing is taken seriously. "The ventilators. The one treatment we have at our disposal? The ventilators.”
San Jose-based Bloom Energy, despite having little to no history in dealing with ventilators, is stepping up to the plate and will help refurbish many defunct units the state needs, using an array of updated technologies.
We're working quickly to refurbish ventilators to support #COVID19 response efforts. Help us spread the word -- if you know anyone with out-of-service ventilators, please share this link: https://t.co/X0mpCdFXKB pic.twitter.com/9qrzzwqalT— Bloom Energy (@Bloom_Energy) March 28, 2020
“It’s one thing to make new equipment,” Newsom said, backdropped by outdated ventilators. “It’s a challenge to refurbish old equipment.”
Bloom Energy Chief Executive KR Sridhar announced Friday the company refurbished 80 units, with another 120 more completed come Sunday — "If we’re not training [our employees to refurbish ventilators], we’ve already failed. I don’t care how difficult this problem is. We will solve it."
Conversely, Newsom claimed that Californian received 170 broken ventilators from the federal government, according to the LA Times.
LA received 170 broken ventilators from the national stockpile. Rather than complaining, we put them on a truck, drove them up overnight, and had @Bloom_Energy get to work fixing them.— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) March 28, 2020
Monday they‘ll back in LA--fixed.
That’s the spirit of CA. pic.twitter.com/y8yzsiC3Ny
“Rather than lamenting about [the broken ventilators given by the feds], rather than complaining about it, rather than pointing fingers, rather than generating headlines in order to generate more stress and anxiety, we got a car and a truck,” he said, later mentioning that those units are being fixed by Bloom Energy, per a tweet sent yesterday.
This update comes in tandem with SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk announcing his companies are donating hundreds of ventilators to New York; Musk will be also repurposing some Tesla factories to help build more ventilators.
Image: Wikimedia Commons