Revealed: Trump wasted half a billion on 10,000 ventilators that won’t arrive until September 2022

Revealed: Trump wasted half a billion on 10,000 ventilators that won’t arrive until September 2022
President Donald J. Trump speaks with laboratory personnel during a tour Monday, July 27, 2020, at the Bioprocess Innovation Center at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies in Morrisville, N.C. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

A new report from the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform found that the Trump Administration repeatedly delayed an Obama-era order from the health-technology company Philips for 10,000 ventilators, wasting half-a-billion dollars for machines that won’t even arrive until September 2022.


According to the report, in 2014, the Obama Administration signed a contract with Philips to add 10,000 ventilators to the nation’s stockpile by June 2019. Though Philips delayed the fulfillment until November 2019, had they been held to that deadline, the nation would have had plenty of ventilators for when the coronavirus epidemic started in March 2020.

However, the Trump Administration granted Philips three extensions.

“On January 21, 2020, when the first coronavirus case was reported in the United States,” the report states, “Philips approached the Trump Administration about accelerating the delivery of ventilators under its existing contract. The Trump Administration ignored this opportunity, and for six weeks, it did not respond to Philips’ offer.”

When Peter Navarro — Assistant to the President, Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy — and other senior officials in the White House negotiated a new contract with Philips, they ended up scrapping the Obama-era terms and agreed to pay almost five-times the price set under those terms.

While Philips had sold ventilators to other purchasers for prices as low as $9,327 per unit, the Trump Administration ended up paying $50,000 per unit.

“The documents show that the Administration accepted Philips’ first offer without even trying to negotiate a lower price,” the report reads.

The ventilators may arrive after a vaccine for the illness does. In the meanwhile, the U.S. has surpassed over 156,000 coronavirus deaths.

This revelation comes just a day after Vanity Fair revealed that the Trump White House scrapped a national testing plan for the epidemic, thinking that coronavirus would mostly kill of blue states voters and the administration could then blame Democratic governors for it.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.