More Than 130,000 Ventilators in the Pipeline as HHS Announces New Contracts

Mimi Nguyen Ly
By Mimi Nguyen Ly
April 14, 2020US News
More Than 130,000 Ventilators in the Pipeline as HHS Announces New Contracts
HHS Secretary Alex Azar speaks about the coronavirus while flanked by (L-R), Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci and Commissioner of Food and Drugs Stephen Hahn during a press briefing on the administration's response to COVID-19 at the Department of Health and Human Services headquarters in Washington on Feb. 25, 2020. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Monday announced five new contracts to procure additional ventilators for COVID-19 patients under the Defense Production Act (DPA).

The contracts under the DPA are with the companies General Electric, Hill-Rom, Medtronic, ResMed, and Vyaire. The DPA, which was passed in 1950, grants the president the power to expand industrial production of crucial materials or products for national security and other reasons.

The HHS also announced another two federal contracts with the companies Hamilton and Zoll for further ventilator production.

With the seven new ventilator contracts, the HHS expects that more than 137,000 ventilators will be provided by the end of 2020.

The department also confirmed that 6,190 ventilators will be supplied to the Strategic National Stockpile by May 8. This number will increase to 29,510 ventilators by June 1 under the DPA.

“President Trump and HHS’s use of the DPA is getting private manufacturers what they need to ramp up ventilator production rapidly,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. “We are grateful to the patriotic Americans at companies working around the clock and retooling factories to increase ventilator production.

“The thousands of ventilators delivered to the Strategic National Stockpile starting this month, continuing through the spring and summer, will mean we have more capacity to respond to the pandemic as it evolves,” he continued.

“HHS and FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] deployment of ventilators from the stockpile have helped ensure that hospitals in states such as New York have not run out of ventilator capacity while working to save lives.”

ventilator new york united states
Ventilators at the New York City Emergency Management Warehouse are shipped out for distribution due to concerns over the rapid spread of the CCP virus in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, on March 24, 2020. (Reuters/Caitlin Ochs/File Photo)

President Donald Trump said at a press briefing that the federal government received 1,300 ventilators on Monday.

“We probably will not need them, but we can add them to our stockpile and move them around, should the surge take place and should there be a substantial surge,” Trump said.

Trump later said that any additional ventilators not needed may be directed to help needy states and other countries.

“We’re going to help other countries, we’re going to help states if they need it. We may help some states stockpile,” he said.

The United States has seen more than 23,600 deaths from the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, also known as the novel coronavirus. There are more than 582,000 cases of the CCP virus in the country, and more than 2,935,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted.

From The Epoch Times

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