A coalition of Republican lawmakers from New York State, including Rep. Tom Reed and state Sen. George Borrello issued a strong statement Friday opposing Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s executive order to take ventilators and personal protective equipment from hospitals that do not need immediately them and distribute them to hospitals with immediate needs. 

"We have been watching the situation in New York City and we have an increase in cases, hospitalizations and deaths in other parts of New York," the lawmakers' statement reads. “Taking our ventilators by force leaves our people without protection and our hospitals unable to save lives today or respond to a coming surge. We stand together opposing the Governor's very dangerous and reckless action. He is leaving our communities in a terrible position which will cost lives."

In addition to Reed and Borrello, who represent the Greater Olean area, the statement was issued by Rep. Elise Stefanik; State Senators Robert G. Ortt, Christopher L. Jacobs, Pamela Helming, Rich Funke, Frederick J. Akshar II and Thomas F. O'Mara, and State Assembly members Philip A. Palmesano, Christopher S. Friend, Andrew W. Goodell, Brian Kolb and Marjorie Byrnes.

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Borrello issued a separate statement shortly after the group statement:

“With COVID-19 rapidly increasing in several upstate cities and communities, I was shocked to hear the Governor announce that he has signed an executive order allowing ventilators and personal protective equipment from upstate hospitals to be seized for distribution in downstate facilities.

“We are seeing on a daily basis, the rapid spread of this unpredictable virus in cities and communities across upstate. Next door in Erie County, which borders the northernmost portion of the 57th District, cases are multiplying at lightning speed. Surrounding counties are also seeing sharp upticks in cases. Taking lifesaving ventilators and PPE from any of our hospitals creates the very real danger that residents and health care workers in the region could see their health, and even their lives, threatened by the lack of necessary equipment.

“While we understand the extreme circumstances that hospitals in New York City and downstate are experiencing, the health and safety of our upstate residents is just as critical. I have sent a letter to Governor Cuomo asking him to reverse this reckless decision.”

Read story on the governor's executive order: 

Governor Issues Executive Order to Move Ventilators and PPE to Hospitals with Urgent Need

For more information on the Coronavirus in the Greater Olean area, visit  TAPinto Greater Olean's Coronavirus Updates page, which is updated continuously.

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