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US House Democrats find administration overspent for ventilators by as much as $500 million

13:26  31 july  2020
13:26  31 july  2020 Source:   nbcnews.com

Trump administration overspent on ventilators by as much as $500 million, Democrat's report says

  Trump administration overspent on ventilators by as much as $500 million, Democrat's report says "The American people got ripped off, and Donald Trump and his team got taken to the cleaners," said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi.In a review of thousands of pages of internal administration documents, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee said Phillips North America was contracted to deliver 43,000 ventilators to the federal government for a significantly higher price than it did under previous contracts for functionally identical ventilator models delivered under contracts dating to President Barack Obama's administration.

While President Trump has assured states that thousands of ventilators remain at the ready, thousands more are in storage, unmaintained or otherwise unusable. Agiliti was not given the million task until late January, when the scope of the global coronavirus crisis was first becoming clear.

The administration ’s trillion proposed rescue plan, which forms the basis for fast-moving negotiations on Capitol Hill, includes sending Democrats , meanwhile, are eyeing their own priorities, largely aiming to shore up safety-net programs and the public health infrastructure, as well as send

WASHINGTON — Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump has repeatedly touted his administration's supply of ventilators, a critical tool for treating patients with life-threatening respiratory symptoms.

  House Democrats find administration overspent for ventilators by as much as $500 million © Provided by NBC News

But internal emails and documents obtained by Democrats on the House Oversight Committee suggest that the Trump administration failed to enforce an existing contract with a major medical manufacturer, delayed negotiations for more than a month and subsequently overpaid as much as $500 million for tens of thousands of the devices — a costly error at a time when officials from some of the biggest states were warning of shortages.

House Dems allege White House mismanaged ventilator contracts

  House Dems allege White House mismanaged ventilator contracts The president has frequently touted the administration's ability to procure ventilators to fight COVID-19."The American people got ripped off, and Donald Trump and his team got taken to the cleaners," said Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, chairman of the committee's Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy. "The Trump Administration's mishandling of ventilator procurement for the nation's stockpile cost the American people dearly during the worst public health crisis of our generation.

The Democratic -led House of Representatives passed a plan, worth another trillion, in May. But the Republican-led Senate refused to consider that bill. Instead, Senate Republicans unveiled on Monday their own plan, reached with the Trump administration , with a trillion price tag.

Data collected by Meduza indicates that Russia’s supply of ventilators is quite extensive: Even Even in the wealthiest areas of one of the most highly developed countries in the European Union Meduza collected data from open sources to find out how many ventilators and ECMO devices government

The communications between administration officials and Philips Respironics, a global medical equipment manufacturer that finalized a $643.5 million contract with the Trump administration in April, are included in a 40-page report shared with NBC News.

The information raises serious concerns about an estimated $3 billion in taxpayer dollars spent on ventilators from a number of suppliers, according to committee staff members who briefed NBC News.

Congressional report accuses Trump administration of vastly overpaying for ventilators during pandemic

  Congressional report accuses Trump administration of vastly overpaying for ventilators during pandemic A congressional panel accused the Trump administration of vastly overpaying for 43,000 ventilators during the coronavirus pandemic after mismanaging the negotiations for a critical contract. © Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images The Capitol dome is seen on November 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. The staff report written by a House Oversight subcommittee blames the administration for accepting ventilator manufacturer Philips Respironics' first offer in March 2020, agreeing to a higher price than every other American purchaser negotiating a contract with the company between mid-December 2019 and May 2020.

Senate Democrats pushed back saying workers such as those in the health care field are unlikely to leave their jobs to collect unemployment. While the administration wants to make sure FEMA is able to buy as much of the equipment as possible, “as we work with the supply chain, we want to have full

We have approved more generic drugs than any other administration , by far. We have 13 million reusable gowns in the Stockpile, and we’ll continue to grow that number to 72 million this fall We’ve shipped more than 14,000 ventilators to areas of need across the country, and we have more than

Trump, facing criticism for a slow and inconsistent response to the pandemic, has repeatedly pointed to his administration's distribution of ventilators as a success story. He falsely claimed as early as April that the Obama administration had left no ventilators in the Strategic National Stockpile upon leaving office. In a speech April 29, Trump said that under his leadership, the U.S. had become "king of ventilators, thousands and thousands of ventilators."

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

Philips Respironics has one of the largest contracts with the federal government to produce ventilators, but documents in the report found that the administration paid it more per unit than any other U.S. purchaser.

According to the initial Obama-era contract to build the Strategic National Stockpile, Philips is under no obligation to deliver the bulk of the 10,000 ventilators it originally was contracted for until September 2022, the report notes, citing a statement given to ProPublica.

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What is a ventilator and what does it do? Simply put, a ventilator takes over the body's breathing process when disease has caused the lungs to fail. By the start of May, it is hoped that 1, 500 a week will be made. As part of that same initiative, the first ventilators - portable ParaPac devices from

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Even so, the Department of Health and Human Services has said it expects most of the 43,000 devices negotiated under a second contract to arrive by the end of this year.

The White House did not respond to inquiries from NBC News, nor did Philips or Oversight Committee Republicans.

"These documents indicate that, before and during the pandemic, inept contract management and incompetent negotiating by the Trump Administration denied the country the ventilators it needed," the committee concluded in its report.

The money spent on overpayments, the report suggests, "could have been used for personal protective equipment and critical medical supplies that were in short supply across the country."

The report says Philips secured a "financial windfall to which it clearly is not entitled" and recommends that to "remedy this apparent profiteering, the Trump Administration now should engage competent contracting officers at federal agencies to determine whether any of these funds can be clawed back."

In late January, with the pandemic moving through China and into Europe, Philips approached Trump administration officials to ask whether it should accelerate ventilator production under an existing contract, the report says.

Democrats accuse Barr of helping Trump distract from coronavirus

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is now emphasizing that Democrats should "recognize the good" in Those comments came just after Pelosi told House Democrats on a series of conference calls that But passage in the House has been made more daunting by the fact that several of its members

Deep-pocketed and often anonymous donors are pouring over 0 million into an intensifying dispute about whether it should be easier to vote by mail, a fight that could determine President Donald Trump's fate in the November election. In the battleground of Wisconsin, cash-strapped cities have.

But it wasn't until April 7, after demand for the devices had peaked and already started to ebb, that the Department of Health and Human Services signed a new contract with Philips to purchase 43,000 ventilators at $15,000 apiece. The administration never tried to negotiate that price, based on the documentation. By comparison, a purchaser in Missouri paid $9,327 for a single unit on April 30.

According to ProPublica, the contract the Obama administration negotiated with Philips in 2014 was for 10,000 similar ventilators at $3,280 apiece. After development was delayed, Obama officials gave Philips an extension until November 2019, which would have been in time to address the pandemic. The Trump administration never tried to build on that contract and continued to grant the company several extensions in negotiating a new one, the report found.

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White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who recently criticized the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as having "been wrong about everything," negotiated the new contract at almost five times the price the Obama administration paid. The devices Navarro purchased were "functionally identical" to the previous ones, according to Food and Drug Administration approvals in the report.

House Democrats launch investigation into Trump administration's repeal of silencer export ban

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While Navarro served as chief negotiator, the deal was formalized by Adam Boehler, CEO of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, who is a former college roommate of Jared Kushner, Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law. Christopher Abbott, an aide to Navarro who graduated from college just last year, oversaw a majority of the communications between Philips and the White House.

A March 25 email from Philips Vice President Nick Padula to Abbott recommended that the administration purchase a model with "more clinician-friendly screens" than those purchased by the Obama administration.

Had Trump officials asked how the screen was different, the report said, they would have discovered that the screens "are identical to the screens on the less expensive" models, the report says.

In addition to what committee staff described as a "fleecing" of the federal government, the report documents a belabored federal response as the leaders of the hardest-hit states, including Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, were imploring the federal government to play a greater role in purchasing and distributing ventilators.

On March 24, with New York state then the center of the pandemic in the U.S., Cuomo openly pleaded with the federal government for thousands more ventilators than it had provided, saying it was "urgent." Trump rejected invoking the Defense Production Act to compel U.S. companies to produce enough equipment to meet demand, while Trump criticized Cuomo's response to the pandemic.

Progressive Caucus chairs demand Democrats pull Homeland Security bill

  Progressive Caucus chairs demand Democrats pull Homeland Security bill The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) on Wednesday called on Democratic House leadership to pull the controversial Homeland Security appropriations bill from consideration on the House floor next week."Without the inclusion of additional necessary reforms, we believe that the Democratic Leadership should not attempt to pass Homeland Security funding by tying it to essential coronavirus research, education, and housing funding," CPC co-"Without the inclusion of additional necessary reforms, we believe that the Democratic Leadership should not attempt to pass Homeland Security funding by tying it to essential coronavirus research, education, and housing funding," CPC co-chairs Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.


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