Breaking News
More () »

Setting the record straight, Poloncarz, Kaleida Health say ventilators are not leaving WNY

The Erie County Executive and Kaleida's chief of staff addressed rumors on social media that the National Guard had removed ventilators from local hospitals.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Ever since Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday that he would like ventilators not in use to be moved to areas in the state that need them the most, there have been several rumors that ventilators from Western New York will be moved. 

Friday afternoon and evening, there was a strong reaction to the news. 

Saturday morning, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz took to Twitter to tell people that one particular rumor is false.

Poloncarz said Friday afternoon that he had spoken to the governor's staff, as well as the top three hospital systems in Western New York. 

According to Poloncarz, nearly every available ventilator in area hospitals are currently in use and therefore do not believe any ventilators will be taken from Western New York patients to head downstate.

"Our ventilators are not going anywhere. It's as simple as that," the county executive said.

Kaleida Health's Chief of Staff Michael P. Hughes also released a statement about the rumors, saying that they are completely false. 

“The rumors that have circulated on social media are completely false. The National Guard was not at Buffalo General Medical Center or any of our other hospitals. Nor were ventilators or supplies taken from us. This type of misinformation only causes further panic and chaos in a time of great uncertainty. That said, we still vehemently oppose the Governor's executive order to take 20% of upstate hospitals' equipment and supplies. We will continue to fight this in an effort to protect our patients as well as our physicians, nurses and staff during this pandemic."

RELATED: Positive cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in NYS; Chinese government, Oregon donate ventilators

RELATED: Frustration over coronavirus testing grows in Western New York

RELATED: Gov. Cuomo to sign executive order to take ventilators from upstate hospitals for hospitals in need