Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that New York’s hospitals have “enough” protective gear for the moment — and was immediately branded a liar by front-line nurses in New York City.
Cuomo was asked during a news conference in Albany about The Post’s blockbuster expose that revealed how nurses are desperately turning garbage bags into protective gowns due to a severe shortage of supplies at Manhattan’s Mount Sinai West hospital.
“Yeah, we’ve called the individual hospitals,” the governor said.
“There’s no doubt in the past few days, you know, there’s maybe — the distraction is a little start-and-stop — but we have enough PPE [personal protective equipment] and the New York City officials say they have enough PPE for the New York City hospitals.”
Cuomo added, “We have enough PPE in stock for the immediate need. Not past the immediate need, but for the immediate need. And we will keep shopping.”
Nurses at Mount Sinai West, near Columbus Circle, reacted with fury to the governor’s remarks.
“False reassurances at our expense!” one nurse told The Post.
Another said that Cuomo was “lying” and that the garbage-bag gowns were needed due to a shortage of the real thing.
“We’re not supposed to wear a dirty gown for an entire 12-hour shift when you’re treating multiple patients. We’re not supposed to wear contaminated gowns,” the nurse said.
Another nurse who works at Mount Sinai’s flagship hospital on the Upper East Side called Cuomo’s denial of any PPE shortages “absolutely a lie.”
“They’ve been sending out emails about it, [saying] if anyone wants to donate PPE, where to direct them,” the nurse said of the Mount Sinai administration.
“If we didn’t have a shortage, they wouldn’t be asking for that.”
“Units from the other hospitals keep coming down to our ER to steal our PPE because they don’t have any,” the nurse added.
A spokesman for Mount Sinai has denied that it didn’t have proper equipment and wasn’t protecting its staff.