Washington sending back ventilators from national stockpile to help other states

WASHINGTON — Gov. Jay Inslee announced Sunday that Washington will be returning more than 400 ventilators from the federal government to help the state of New York, which is experiencing a higher number of coronavirus cases.

"I’ve said many times over the last few weeks, we are in this together. This should guide all of our actions at an individual and state level in the coming days and weeks," Inslee said.

The ventilators were sent from the Strategic National Stockpile. Washington recently purchased more than 750 of its own ventilators that will arrive over the next several weeks.

“Thanks to the mitigation efforts the governor has put in place and the cooperation of Washingtonians, we have seen fewer infections in our communities than anticipated. Our current status allows us to help others who have a more immediate need," said Raquel Bono, a former vice admiral and director of the Washington State COVID-19 Health System Response Management.

On Sunday, President Trump praised Governor Inslee for sending the ventilators back to the national stockpile.

“We appreciate that he’s able to give them back,” said President Trump. “[Governor Inslee] feels confident that they are in good shape for the coming weeks.”

Governor Inslee’s team said the decision was made after speaking to the Washington State Hospital Association, that released this statement to KIRO 7 Sunday:

“We appreciate the partnership with state officials as they decide how to best use the supplies we have on hand here in Washington state. At this point, hospitals in [sic] here are not experiencing the dire need of ventilators the way New York is. Sending some of our ventilator supply where it was immediately needed seemed like the right thing to do to support others across the country, while also preparing for the needs of our own communities in the coming weeks and months. We’re Washingtonians, but we’re also Americans.”