Washington Governor Jay Inslee said Sunday that he will return 400 ventilators so that other states, like New York, can use them for coronavirus cases. Inslee made the announcement as New York has become the nation's epicenter for the virus, with more than a third of the country's confirmed cases.
"Every state in America is united in the fight to save the lives of our people. Though our mission is the same, our needs are different," Inslee, a Democrat, said on Twitter.
"Today, Washington is returning 400 ventilators so states like New York and others can have them."
Washington received 500 ventilators from the federal government's Strategic National Stockpile. The state recently purchased more than 750 additional ventilators that will be arriving in the coming weeks.
Inslee's announcement came a day after Oregon Governor Kate Brown said that her state would send 140 ventilators to New York.
Washington was the first state to report a confirmed coronavirus case, in late January, and at one point had the highest number of confirmed cases in the country.
Inslee wasto issue social distancing measures. The state reported that these measures appeared to work for slowing the spread of the virus.
Islee said his state is able to donate its ventilators "because Washingtonians are heeding the call to stay home."
"Their continued commitment to physical distancing is saving lives here in WA and around the country," he said.
President Trump praised Inslee for his donation. "We appreciate that he's able to give them back," the president said Sunday in his daily coronavirus press briefing.
As of April 6, Washington has confirmed 7,984 coronavirus cases and 338 deaths. By comparison, New York has confirmed 130,689 cases and 4,758 deaths. That's nearly half of the 9,683 coronavirus deaths reported nationwide.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has said his state needs tens of thousands more ventilators than the federal government provided so far.that the state could burn through its current stockpile within days.