“Ventilator Allocation Guidelines”, New York State Task Force on Life and the Law, New York State Department of Health, November 2015

Back then the Federal Government was not expected to be an emergency backup of thousands of ventilators. Section II E, page 31:

There is a federal government stockpile of ventilators, but its use is limited for any one locality; there are not enough ventilators to be distributed to meet demand if many regions need them at once.

Everyone should examine Table 1 “Moderate and Severe Influenza Pandemic Scenarios” in II.D.2, page 30. The numbers we are seeing now are not out of line currently with even the moderate scenario equivalent to 1957 or 1968 influenzas, and there is of course the 1918 pandemic severe scenario.

In contrast to others, I actually agree with the report’s reasoning, section E, page 31:

… however, there are no current plans to buy enough ventilators for the most severe model. The State’s current approach to stockpiling a limited number of ventilators balances the need to prepare for a potential pandemic against the need to maintain adequate funding for current and ongoing health care expenses. Furthermore, severe staffing shortages are anticipated, and purchasing additional ventilators beyond a threshold will not save additional lives, because there will not be a sufficient number of trained staff to operate them. In the event of an overwhelming burden on the health care system, New York will not have sufficient ventilators to meet critical care needs despite its emergency stockpile.

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