Gov. Gavin Newsom Announces Gradual Plan to Reopen California After Sending Ventilators to Aid New York’s Combat with COVID-19


Photo Courtesy of Gage Skidmore

Gov. Gavin Newsom pictured speaking at the California Democratic Party State Convention in 2019 after he entered office in January of that year. As of April 14, New York has 202,208 confirmed cases according to the New York Times, the state has especially been experiencing a shortage in ventilators to supply patients in critical condition.

Bia Shok

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a six-step plan on April 14 to gradually reopen California’s economy, after his decision to send 500 of California’s available ventilators to New York on April 9, according to CNN News. 

Due to increasing COVID-19 patients, New York was experiencing a shortage of the medical equipment that mechanically cycles air through the patient’s lungs, and Newsom intended alleviating currently critical patients in New York. According to the Sacramento Bee on April 9, California was using 31.89% of their ventilators, leaving around 8,000 available. 

Some counties such as Riverside voiced their concern for a potential shortage of ventilators that may emerge in the state’s near future.

“You see 500 ventilators have been shipped out and our request through the state and feds have not been filled and our attempt to purchase them on the market has not been successful,” Riverside County’s first district supervisor Kevin Jeffries said in an interview with ABC News. 

Even though California is expecting an increase in patients, others agree with Newsom’s decision to support relatively urgent states, and are hoping for major corporations to assist the process of ventilator production.  

“We have a surplus of excess ventilators that aren’t being in use that could prove to be beneficial to states like New York as it has more than eight times the amount of cases,” sophomore Ethan Zhang said. “As people worry that our generosity puts California in a more vulnerable position, which is true, I’d like to say that thanks to the federal government’s response, major corporations such as GM, Tesla, Ford and Toyota are racing against time to make more ventilators.”

In a COVID-19 press conference that took place April 9, Newsom said his decision targeted satisfying immediate needs rather than potential conditions. He also stated that California acquired 4,160 additional ventilators and had a 1.9% decrease in COVID-19 patients needing intensive care. “We can’t just sit on assets when we could save lives,” Newsom said in his press conference. 

In another press conference on April 14, Newsom publicized his plan to reopen California, although specifics on when the stay-at-home order will end has not been updated. According to CNN News, the plan calls for six aspects or steps, including expanding testing, maintaining caution for high risk residents, preventing future surges in hospitals, continuing to discuss treatments with academia, redrawing regulations to ensure social distancing at private businesses and schools are continued and developing mechanisms for the state to reinstate stay-at-home orders.

“We are not out of the woods yet, we are not spiking the ball,” Newsom said in his press conference. “But we also extend a recognition in that light that this can’t be a permanent state, and I want you to know, it’s not, it will not be a permanent state.”