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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Reply #58)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 01:34 PM

60. They had Ford and GM make lots of ventilators

that now sit unused. The NEED was for masks and gloves and other PPE (which is still a need)... but...Jared.

The U.S. forced major manufacturers to build ventilators. Now they’re piling up unused in a strategic reserve.

By Faiz Siddiqui
August 18, 2020 at 7:00 a.m. EDT

SAN FRANCISCO — Months into a $3 billion U.S. effort to manufacture tens of thousands of ventilators to stave off coronavirus deaths, the government stockpile is facing a glut. 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.

“In the fog of war against the virus, we were trying to do our best to protect the health and safety of the American people,” said Peter Navarro, White House trade adviser and Defense Production Act policy coordinator. “In this particular chess game, the best move was to make sure we had too many ventilators rather than too few.” Navarro said that excess ventilators will be used to help other countries fighting the novel coronavirus, either as revenue-generating exports or as donations.

The misalignment between the availability and need for ventilators shows that the medical understanding of and response to the coronavirus has moved faster than companies can adapt. And for Ford, which got the order to supply the largest quantity of ventilators to the federal stockpile, production and delivery were delayed, further throwing it out of sync with the pandemic needs.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/08/18/ventilators-coronavirus-stockpile/

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