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Indiana Officials Won’t Say How Many Ventilators The State Has



Ventilators are among the most important equipment hospitals need to treat a surge of COVID-19 patients. Companies such as General Motors are gearing up emergency production of the machines, which take over the labor of breathing for a patient with a serious case of the virus.

As many as 742,500 U.S. residents could need ventilators in a severe outbreak similar to the 1918 flu, according to a 2005 Health and Human Services report. U.S. health care facilities only have an estimated 160,000 ventilators — many of which are already being used — and the Strategic National Stockpile has 16,600 more, according to the Center for Public Integrity.

Anticipating a shortage, leaders in some states have been vocal about how many ventilators they have, how many they need and how many they have requested from the federal government’s Strategic National Stockpile.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has said that the state will need about 5,000 ventilators. Health officials estimate the state has about 2,200 currently. “The federal government isn’t providing most of that to the states. We’re out there competing against each other,” he said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state needs 30,000 ventilators to handle the projected surge of COVID-19 cases. The Trump administration has said it will send 4,000. “Where are they? Where are the ventilators?” asked Cuomo.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds also has offered statistics about her state’s preparedness. “We have approximately 280 [ventilators] right now,” she said recently.

But so far, Indiana has not released information on its ventilator supply.

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