Ventilator Stockpiles Don’t Work Because Trump Administration Allowed Contract For The Company That Maintains Them To Expire
The federal government is holding 10,000 ventilators in reserve to ship to our most desperate hospitals. But what Trump has failed to mention during his press conference is that more than 2,000 ventilators cannot be distributed because they don’t work. The Trump administration failed to keep up with the maintenance for the devices while they were in storage, according to The New York Times.
California learns they received 170 broken ventilators from the government
LA received 170 broken ventilators from the national stockpile. Rather than complaining, we put them on a truck, drove them up overnight, and had @Bloom_Energy get to work fixing them.
Monday they‘ll back in LA–fixed.
That’s the spirit of CA. pic.twitter.com/y8yzsiC3Ny
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) March 28, 2020
The federal government has a contract with Vyaire Medical to maintain some of the stockpile ventilators. That contract termed last year at the end of August. During that lapse, maintenance did not take place, according to the Times.
Following that termination, the government handed the contract to Agiliti, a Minneapolis-based medical equipment management company. But because of lingering contract disputers with Vyaire, Agiliti was not handed the $38 million task until late January, said the Times.
Like most heavy machinery, ventilators cannot be stored for long periods of time without maintenance, say the experts.
“We were given a stop-work order before we’d even started,” Agiliti’s chief executive, Tom Leonard, told the Times.
Experts say ventilators cannot be stored for long periods without upkeep, the Times noted.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently learned that he had 170 broken ventilators. But the governor took a solutions-based approach.
In a press conference on Saturday, he said, “Instead of complaining about it, rather than pointing fingers, rather than generating headlines in order to generate more stress…we got a car and a truck and we had those 170 brought here to this facility at 8 a.m. this morning. And they are quite literally working on those ventilators right now.”
States are also being forced to bid against one another for ventilators. Here’s what New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said about the bid wars on Tuesday: