Hospitals to share ventilators while production scales up
President Trump. Photo: MANDEL NGAN / Contributor
The Trump administration and 20 major health care systems launched a new ventilator loan program that will allow hospitals to ship unused machines to areas where they are needed most to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Why it matters: The "dynamic ventilator reserve" program will help hospitals deal with a shortage of the life-saving machines while private industry scrambles to crank up production.
- General Motors started manufacturing ventilators on Tuesday under a $489.4 million federal contract. But it will take until August to produce all 30,000 the government ordered under the Defense Production Act.
Driving the news: The ventilator loan program announced at Tuesday's White House coronavirus briefing is something that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had been pushing for weeks as conditions worsened in New York City.
- Cuomo said New York needed 40,000 ventilators to meet surge demand, and begged other states to send their unused machines, saying he would personally drive them back when the state's peak had passed.
The big picture: Trump has enlisted automakers and other companies to increase ventilator production to replenish U.S. stockpiles.
- The U.S. will manufacture 150,000 to 200,000 ventilators by the end of the year — "far more than we'll ever need" — up from 30,000 last year, the president said.
- Currently, there are about 10,000 ventilators in the Strategic National Stockpile, "ready to move, should we need them," he said.