The Trump administration, under strain to do more to ramp up coronavirus testing so as to safely reopen the battered U.S. economy, is highlighting this week a $2.9 billion program to provide 187,000 ventilators this year.
The administration’s ventilator spike is accelerating as medical experts are estimating the need for the units – used to help severely sick COVID-19 sufferers breathe – will fall. Many of the ventilators will now be sent to other nations in need, the administration says.
VP Mike Pence Tuesday plans to visit a General Electric plant in Madison, Wisconsin, where they assemble ventilators, the company, and his office confirmed.
Ventilators became a logo in March of the lack of preparedness in the U.S. medical system for the surge in sufferers infected by COVID-19, the disease attributable to the virus that attacks the lungs.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose state has been the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak with over 240,000 cases, had stated his state alone could need as many as 30,000 ventilators.
On March 27, Trump invoked the Korean War period Defense Production Act (DPA) to compel General Motors to build ventilators.
Now, governors and business leaders have moved their focus away from ventilators to the lack of widespread coronavirus testing that medical experts say is important to safely end remain-at-home orders and permit people to go back to work.
With the number of New York sufferers needing intensive care declining, Cuomo stated last week he’ll ship some of the ventilators his state received and now not needs to Maryland and Michigan.