Ventilator Contract Comes More Than a Month After First COVID-19 Death
Watchdog Calls on Admin To Explain Delays to Americans
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) at long last officially announced its contract with General Motors (GM) under the Defense Protection Act to start producing much-needed ventilators for a country battling COVID-19.
But the first of the ventilators may not be ready for delivery until June. The full contract isn’t slated for completion until the end of August. And despite President Trump’s bragging, the GM contract was no quick and easy deal.
It took the administration more than a month after the first reported COVID-19 death in the U.S. and over two months after declaring a public health emergency to negotiate this single contract to produce ventilators that won’t be ready for another 100 days.
The delays come as no big surprise: according to an interview yesterday evening, President Trump appears to be getting information about which states need ventilators from Sean Hannity’s Fox News show. Meanwhile, as Trump has ignored states’ repeated requests for ventilators, thousands of Americans have already lost their lives due to complications from the coronavirus, and more may be on the line due to these delays.
“Trump fancies himself a master dealmaker, but he made the deal with GM too late — and it won’t deliver ventilators until even later,” said Kyle Herrig, Accountable.US president. “The administration’s incompetent COVID-19 response has already cost American lives. The longer states have to wait for ventilators, the less equipped they are to serve people in need. The administration owes the American people answers about this unacceptable delay.”