Trump brags about ventilator production while states and hospitals scramble to recover from Trump’s bungling, lack of preparedness
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Accountable.US released the following statement following reporting by ProPublica that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had signed a contract for 10,000 ventilators in September but still hasn’t seen a single one reach American hospitals, even while the company is selling ventilators around the world.
“As states scramble to find ventilators and hospitals plan for who gets them when they don’t have enough, Secretary Azar needs to explain why his agency cut a deal that sent taxpayer-funded ventilators to Europe before a single ventilator was sent to the United States and why he hasn’t done more to pressure this company to speed delivery when we know they have ventilators available,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “President Trump is bragging that the United States will build so many ventilators that we’ll be exporting them to Europe, but right now his government is helping other countries get them before Americans do. This is just one more example of President Trump and his Administration ignoring the facts and failing to prepare for this crisis — while patients and families across the country pay the price.”
“…This past September, with the design of the new Trilogy Evo Universal finally cleared by the Food and Drug Administration, HHS ordered 10,000 of the ventilators for the Strategic National Stockpile at a cost of $3,280 each. But as the pandemic continues to spread across the globe, there is still not a single Trilogy Evo Universal in the stockpile. Instead last summer, soon after the FDA’s approval, the Pennsylvania company that designed the device — a subsidiary of the Dutch appliance and technology giant Royal Philips N.V. — began selling two higher-priced commercial versions of the same ventilator around the world….
“…Last Friday, President Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to compel General Motors to begin mass-producing another company’s ventilator under a federal contract. But neither Trump nor other senior officials made any mention of the Trilogy Evo Universal. Nor did HHS officials explain why they did not force Philips to accelerate delivery of these ventilators earlier this year, when it became clear that the virus was overwhelming medical facilities around the world.”