After spending $3 billion to manufacture ventilators for the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government has a ventilator stockpile of thousands more than the country now needs, reports the Washington Post.
General Motors and Ford by early May began delivering the first ventilators they scrambled to manufacture, in part compelled by President Trump’s invocation of the federal Defense Production Act. General Electric, Philips and other manufacturers’ efforts have delivered more than 94,000 of them to the stockpile, and General Motors plans to soon hand over its business to a counterpart.
During the first weeks of the covid-19 crisis in March, health officials panicked over an anticipated shortage of ventilators, breathing machines that were essential to help keep patients alive. But during the months it took for companies to develop their supply chains, test prototypes and train workers to build them, the approach to treating covid-19 changed.
Now, unexpectedly, the vast majority of ventilators are going unused. The Department of Health and Human Services said it had handed out 15,057 ventilators by Friday, and there were 95,713 ventilators in the federal stockpile. Of those, 94,352 came from contracts signed since the beginning of the pandemic.
Read the full story in the Washington Post.