WASHINGTON, D.C. – Reporting in BuzzFeed revealed that a silicon valley engineer who obtained a $69.1 million contract to produce nearly 1,500 ventilators after tweeting at President Trump completely failed to deliver as no ventilators ever actually arrived. The man reportedly has no background in medical device production.
The ventilator deal, made at the beginning of April on “direct recommendation” of the White House COVID-19 task force, left New York without a crucial influx of ventilators it needed as the state languished without adequate supplies to help patients as the state maintained the number one spot nationwide for positive cases of the coronavirus.
This isn’t the first time the administration’s faulty judgment has resulted in a botched ventilator deal: after failing to deliver on an agreement for 10,000 ventilators last year, the production company Royal Philips N.V. made a new taxpayer-funded deal with the Trump administration in early April for 43,000 ventilators — at roughly $15,000, nearly quadrupling the cost per machine.
“Once again, the supposed dealmaker-in-chief and his allies favored a shady medical supplies producer and left taxpayers with the bill when he failed to deliver,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Last minute deals with improperly vetted producers may not even have been an issue if the administration had properly prepared the country for this crisis. Instead, it wasted two valuable months downplaying the threat of the virus — and now we’re all paying the price.”