New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has estimated that the state needs at least 30,000 ventilators to meet projections during the COVID-19 crisis, which has already hospitalized thousands in the state.
With 4,000 pledged from the federal government, that leaves the state searching for thousands more.
President Donald Trump has not authorized the Defense Production Act to assign companies to make the equipment, pinning his hopes on the business community to voluntarily manufacture ventilators.
On Wednesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the company’s Buffalo factory would begin working on ventilators as soon as possible. But the region’s small manufacturers say they can play a greater role than a single large company taking over.
WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard spoke with Tom Cahill Sr., owner of Melvina Can Machinery, a small company in Queensbury.
Cahill says local companies have the know-how and workforce to do it, they just need direction from the top.