House Democrats find Trump administration deprived US of ventilators, squandered $500M in early viru
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Democrats in the House Oversight Committee released a report Fridaysuggesting the Trump administration failed to properly negotiate and manage a contract with Philips North America Corporation, (Philips) to supply ventilators for the American public during the outbreak of the coronavirus. Led by Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill. , the chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, an investigation was launched on April 15to determine why the U. S. did not have enough ventilators during the initial months of the pandemic. The report foundthat the Obama administration entered into a contract with Phillips in 2014 to have 10,000 ventilators stockpiled by June 2019. An extension was eventually granted after the company failed to meet the deadline, allowing the contract to be filled by November 2019. WHITE HOUSE ON WHETHER LIABILITY PROTECTION IS NEEDED IN COVID-19 DEAL: ASK MCCONNELLPhillips further delayed their contractual agreement three times in 2017, 2018 and 2019, agreeing to set the new deadline to fill the stockpiles by June 2021. Had the Trump Administration held Philips to the terms of the Obama-era contract, the country would have had 10,000 ventilators that it needed when the coronavirus crisis struck, the committee wrote in a statement Friday. Philips contacted the Trump administration to suggest accelerating the delivery of ventilators, the same day the first coronavirus case was reported in the U. S. on January 21. The administration reportedly ignored the suggestions for six weeksand did not ask that Phillips meet the deadlines agreed to under the Obama administration or hasten to fill the orders under the new contract. Instead on March 11, the administration reportedly granted Phillips an additional extension to be fufilled by Sept. 2022. The Trump Administrations mishandling of ventilator procurement for the nations stockpile cost the American people dearly during the worst public health crisis
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