This week, Governor Gavin Newsom announced California would be sending 500 ventilators across the United States to help local governments manage their surges of COVID-19 patients. But on Wednesday night, Riverside County officials said the state recently denied their request for more ventilators.
“Riverside County is the 10th largest county in the nation … We are preparing for what the math and the statistics say is about to hit in a couple of weeks. And so we're trying to acquire all the equipment and all the materials we need to provide the emergency services to our residents,” says Kevin Jeffries, Supervisor for Riverside County’s first district.
“You basically wake up one morning, and you realize that California has been very compassionate and sending ventilators to others — while we have not been able to get any of our requests filled for what we anticipate is going to happen,” he continues.
Jeffries says he got an email from Newsom about his decision to loan out the ventilators, and feels a little better after speaking to him.
“I believe he's just trying to be compassionate and help others in need, and he's going to come through for us when we're in need. But it still leaves you with that uneasy feeling … of what happens if we don't get it totally.”