Remember the Ventilator Crisis? The Press Now Calmly Details How We May Not Have Needed so Many of Those Allegedly Vital Devices

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File

 

It appears our nation’s capacity being met does not merit nearly as widespread coverage as the promised disaster.

It was not all that long ago when ventilators were all the rage in the media. Incessantly, we were given reports on their need and the country’s lack of them. President Trump was looked at as being slothful or guilty of neglect due to our national short supply. New York State was requiring 40,000 of the devices to properly address the coronavirus cases it was facing. It was a ventilator crisis.

On Thursday at TownHall, I was covering the media malpractice regarding the pandemic and I rhetorically asked, ”What happened to ventilators?’’ The story seemed to drop off the headlines and the media radars in rapid fashion. Well, as it developed, that crisis regarding the number of ventilators was greatly exaggerated, and the call for so many of the devices to be manufactured in short order was somewhat overblown.

So much so that now the Associated Press has slipped a story out about ventilators that is not getting near the traction of previous reports.

But over the past month, demand for ventilators has decreased even as the U.S. death toll from the novel coronavirus has surged past 80,000. After observing unusually high death rates for coronavirus victims who were put on ventilators, many doctors are using them only as a last resort. That’s raising the unexpected prospect that the United States could soon be awash in surplus ventilators

Numerous states are reporting how they are sitting on a glut of the machines that just weeks ago the press was shrieking about being in fatally short supply. Recall the small feud in the media between President Trump and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, over Trump’s supposed shortchanging of New York’s needed supply? We were told that the state required at least 40,000 of the machines, and Trump was dragging his feet to give them the needed medical devices.

Now, with far less headline blaring fanfare we see a different story. New York has been sharing its supply of the ventilators, due to sitting on a surplus. Michigan received 100 ventilators from New York, as did New Jersey, with 50 going to Maryland, and Massachusetts was offered 400 of the devices from Cuomo’s New York. Additionally, California had 500 excess machines it was able to send back into the national stockpile, while Wisconsin finds it is in possession of four times the amount of needed machines.

It is appearing that the media, which had been loudly critical of the lack of medical expert opinion being heeded by the administration, was perfectly fine dispensing its own non-empirical medical advice for many very loud weeks. If we find out that the hysteria generated over these machines by the press led to a waste of money, time, and effort in the pandemic fight it will be just another entry in the very long list of insurrections we have seen from journalists following the outbreak.