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New York State gets 2,000 ventilators donated, thanks to Nets owner Tsai, helped by Alibaba co-founder and Chinese government

From Cuomo's daily briefing
Amid Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, Governor Cuomo Announces 1,000 Ventilators Donated to New York State, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today, citing Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai and his Alibaba partner Jack Ma, both billionaires.

The announcement clarified that it was a gift of the Joseph and Clara Tsai Foundation; NetsDaily estimated the value at $25 million. That assumes they're the basic model; as the Washington Post reported, the basic model costs $25,000, while more specialized machines can cost up to $50,000.

That's a significant donation, but the city and state still need more, as demand is expected to outstrip supply--and in some cases, according to anecdotal reports, has already done so. Cuomo has said the state will ultimately need 30,000 ventilators. (Another 140 ventilators are being lent by the state of Oregon, Cuomo announced.)

Two donations, actually

CNN reported that Tsai actually made two donations, the first one via the Greater New York Hospital Association, with 1000 ventilators for the Mount Sinai hospital system, 300,000 surgical masks for 11 New York City-area nursing homes, and 70,000 medical goggles for those nursing homes and Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.

The second round went to the state, which is coordinating such supplies. Along with the ventilators were more masks and goggles.

The South China Morning Post further clarified:
The  private foundations of Jack Ma and Joe Tsai, co-founders of this newspaper’s owner Alibaba Group Holding and two of China’s wealthiest technology entrepreneurs, donated a total of 2.3 million face masks, 2,000 medical ventilators and 170,000 pieces of protective gear to New York city.
The SCMP cited a $50 million value for the ventilators, which suggests they were the basic model.

The need remains

USA Today reported yesterday, citing a state official, that there were 6,500 ventilators deployed in downstate New York, plus another 2,400 from the federal government, with another 2,000 of the latter assigned to the rest of the state. (The number of ventilators already in the state, not from federal sources, was not cited.)

The state had deployed 1,000 ventilators from its stockpile, with 800 in reserve. (It's unclear how many of those were counted in the above totals.)

"The city has now received 2,500 ventilators promised by the federal government, in response to our request for 15,000 ventilators, and has distributed nearly all of them to hospitals in need," a representative from the New York City Department of Health told USA TODAY. So the need continues.

The state announcement

The subheadings included:
  • Donation Made to the State by the Joseph and Clara Tsai Foundation, and Facilitated by the Chinese Government and Ambassador Huang Ping, Chinese Consul General
  • Joseph and Clara Tsai Foundation and the Jack Ma Foundation Have Also Donated One Million Surgical Masks, One Million KN95 Masks and More Than 100,000 Pairs of Goggles
  • Also Announces the NBA is Contributing One Million Surgical Masks in Collaboration with Knicks and Nets
From the text:
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that 1,000 ventilators have been donated to New York by the Joseph and Clara Tsai Foundation. The Joseph and Clara Tsai Foundation and the Jack Ma Foundation have also donated one million surgical masks, one million KN95 masks and more than 100,000 pairs of goggles to the state. The Chinese government and Ambassador Huang Ping, Chinese Consul General, have facilitated these donations. The ventilators arrived at JFK Airport today.
The National Basketball Association is also contributing one million surgical masks for New York's essential workers in collaboration with the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and China's New York Consul General Huang Ping.
Masks and goggles are significantly less expensive than ventilators, but more expensive than they were just weeks ago. The sourcing isn't totally clear, but, given the mention of air delivery, it seems likely they came from China.

And this of course raises the question as to why New York is reliant on charitable generosity and China connections, rather than benefiting from the coordination and heft of the federal government.

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