Two of the governor’s aides then wheeled out an actual ventilator — a complicated piece of machinery that includes a digital display on a portable stand — which has hoses that can be attached to a patient to help the person breathe.

“I want to show you the ventilator. Our main scramble now is for ventilators. And everybody says, ‘What are the ventilators?’” Cuomo said. “This is the machine that you often see in hospitals. It’s commonplace in hospitals. It’s just the number that we need is much higher.”

On the current trajectory of cases, Cuomo said, in 45 days there could be a need for 37,000 ventilators in New York, a state that currently has only 3,000.

“That’s our main issue. And again that’s a projection. And projections can change,” he said. “But that’s the problem we’re dealing with.”