NYC doctor makes urgent plea for help: ‘We’re near the breaking point’

NYC doctor makes urgent plea for help: 'We're near the breaking point'

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The response to coronavirus (COVID-19) in New York City has “absolutely” not been enough yet, NYU Langone’s Dr. Stuart Ditchek urged Thursday.

Appearing on “Fox & Friends,” Ditchek said that lives are being lost in Brooklyn, Queens and particularly in poor communities because of the lack of vital equipment like ventilators and high-flow nasal cannula machines, along with a lack of staff members to take care of the influx of patients.

“The models are only as good as the assumptions,” he remarked. “Every community is different. Every city is different. In New York City, it appears that the poorer populations are suffering at a greater rate — certainly of hospitalizations and certainly of poorer outcomes.”


In a letter to President Trump and New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Ditchek — as part of the New York Pandemic Response Group — pleaded for further action.

“We are near breaking point in Brooklyn and in Queens. Lives are being lost by the hour…You have the opportunity to avert a disaster here in Brooklyn and Queens that will eclipse that of 9/11,” Ditcheck wrote. “Currently, the towers are on fire but have not yet fallen. We can get more people out now.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Cuomo reiterated that “nobody knows” when the outbreak will be over.

“It is not going to be soon,” he said. “If our apex is 14 to 21 days, that’s our apex. You then have to come down the other side of the mountain once you hit the apex. So calibrate yourself and your expectations so you’re not disappointed every morning you get up.”

On Wednesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city is running out of ventilators and needs 400 by Sunday — and several thousand more over the course of the next week.


Ditchek said the politicians need to allocate their assets to Brooklyn and Queens because “that’s where the fire is burning right now.”

“In other words, the machines that are being brought to New York City right now, in my estimate, is 16,000 ventilators that are needed immediately — 8,000 to the New York City area, 8,000 for the rest of the state. Those machines should not be owned by any one entity. They should be moved from state to state,” he asserted.

Ditchek said the reluctance to act comes from the decision to wait for the apex to hit before bringing over equipment.


“You cannot wait for the apex to hit,” Ditchek stated. “What that means in terms is [the] loss of human lives until we can reach the apex. We don’t want to reach the apex without the equipment.”

The doctor said that while his hospitals are coming up with innovations, help is urgently needed so that their knowledge can be shared with other hard-hit areas of the country.

“Whatever we learn, we are passing on to other states,” he said. “We want to do this unified as a country. Not just here in Brooklyn. Not just in Queens.”

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