Federal Ventilator Program Would Allow Hospitals To Send Unused Machines To Help Hot Spots
“There are over 60,000 ventilators in our hospitals right now that are not in use,” says Adam Boehler, a former HHS official tapped to help with the government's response. The program is voluntary but would allow hospitals in cold spots to send needed equipment to facilities that are overwhelmed with patients. Meanwhile, the federal government expects to receive tens of thousands more ventilators in coming weeks.
Trump Announces Hospital-Led Ventilator Exchange Program
President Donald Trump announced today a national ventilator sharing program that aims to allow hospitals to lend the lifesaving devices to others facing acute coronavirus outbreaks. The goal of the program, developed in partnership with the American Hospital Association, is to utilize unused ventilators by sending them to hospitals in hot spots, according to Adam Boehler, a former HHS official who has been tapped to help with the coronavirus response. (Lim, 4/14)
Trump Announces New Initiative For Hospitals To Lend Unused Ventilators To Areas Of Need
Trump said the initiative would be supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services. He said that in the event there is a large lending need for more ventilators, the federal government “will make sure that you get them.” Certain areas of the country, particularly New York state, have seen huge numbers of coronavirus cases, while other areas have not experienced significant burdens on their medical systems. The virus had sickened close to 600,000 Americans and caused 25,000 deaths domestically as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Johns Hopkins University. (Chalfant, 4/14)
Trump Announces Ventilator Loan Program For Providers
The Trump administration contacted the American Hospital Association and suppliers to create a lending program after it learned that up to 60,000 ventilators were unused. "Within the past week alone, 20 top health systems have signed up for this dynamic ventilator reserve, representing over 4,000 ventilators," said Adam Boehler, a former HHS official working on the administration's coronavirus response. Boehler is currently CEO of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation. (Brady, 4/14)
The Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Buying More Than $2.5 Billion In Ventilators For Coronavirus Patients
The federal government expects to receive tens of thousands more ventilators in coming weeks under more than $2.5 billion in new contracts recently signed with manufacturers, though Covid-19 cases may have peaked by the time the machines are delivered. General Electric Co., Medtronic PLC and other manufacturers are scheduled to deliver 6,190 new ventilators to the Strategic National Stockpile by May 8 and 29,510 by June 1 under the new contracts, the Department of Health and Human Services said. By the end of 2020, the new contracts are expected to yield 137,431 new ventilators, the agency said Monday. (Loftus, 4/14)
And in other preparedness news —
How Did The US Come Up So Short On PPE?
Despite years of public health experts warning that the United States was not prepared to handle a respiratory virus pandemic, when COVID-19 spread in the U.S., doctors and nurses found themselves without enough personal protection equipment, or PPE, to treat patients safely. Part of the problem, experts say, is the supply chain. The U.S. has been making fewer masks, gowns and gloves domestically, and instead relied on importing those items from other countries. (Schumaker, 4/14)
Pandemic Preparedness Never Accounted For A President Like Trump
Donald Trump was in his element. Playing to a cheering crowd at a Detroit-area auto parts plant in January, the president railed against disgraceful Democrats, bad trade deals and the dishonest media as he touted his record of creating jobs "like you have never seen before." The brewing coronavirus crisis merited only a brief mention at the end of his speech. He wanted to assure his audience that his administration had it "very well under control." "We think it's going to have a very good ending," Trump said. (Murray and Glover, 4/14)