Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision to lend 500 state-owned ventilators to New York and other coronavirus hot spots outside California has caught some local officials in his own state off guard as they scramble to acquire the critically needed medical equipment, particularly in Riverside County.
Riverside County officials said the state recently denied their request for an additional 500 ventilators, even though the county expects demand for the breathing machines at county hospitals and medical centers to exceed the supply in less than three weeks.
Santa Clara County, another area hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, is offering a $1,000 bounty for each device it receives and has ordered companies with the devices to report their inventory to the county.
“I understand and respect what the governor is doing. But are we going to be able to get the assistance that we’re going to need in a week or two weeks out?” Riverside County Supervisor Kevin Jeffries said Wednesday. “I think we were all a little surprised. We’re all trying to prepare so we’re not like New York.”
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