A child survivor receives medical care at a hospital near the Dead Sea in Jordan Thursday, October 25, 2018. Flash floods unleashed by heavy rains swept away a group of middle school students and teachers visiting hot springs near the Dead Sea on Thursday, killing people as the torrent carried some for several kilometers, a civil defense official said.(AP Photo/ Raad Adayleh)
Joe Biden has relentlessly attacked President Trump over his administration’s lack of preparedness for the Wuhan virus. Most recently, he’s been harping on the shortage of ventilators.
Several days ago, Biden tweeted a quote from a New York Times article which read, “If the administration had reacted to the ventilator shortage in February, a private sector effort starting now might have made lifesaving equipment in mid- to late April. Now it is unlikely to be before June.” Below the quote, Biden wrote, “Donald Trump’s inaction will cost lives.”
Yesterday, President Trump said he was invoking the Defense Production Act, then turned around and said he wasn't planning to use it. The President should exercise these powers now. We need more ventilators, protective equipment, and critical supplies. We need action, not words.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) March 19, 2020
"If the administration had reacted to the ventilator shortage in February, a private sector effort starting now might have made lifesaving equipment in mid- to late April. Now it is unlikely to be before June."
Donald Trump's inaction will cost lives. https://t.co/83kiIngP6o
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) March 26, 2020
Inconveniently for the former Vice President, CNN published a story on Friday evening which cites ten occasions when the Government was warned by agencies between 2003 and 2013 about a lack of ventilators in the event of a pandemic. Neither the Bush, nor the Obama administrations acted on any of those warnings.
The US government was warned 10 times in a 13-year span about a lack of ventilators in the event of an outbreak https://t.co/ZDRxroFh4z
— CNN (@CNN) March 28, 2020
Actually CNN begins their article by, of course, bashing Trump. They cite a 2017 study jointly funded by the NIH and the CDC which found, “substantial concern exists that intensive care units (ICUs) might have insufficient resources to treat all persons requiring ventilator support” and that even the supplies held in the so-called Strategic National Stockpile “might not suffice to meet demand during a severe public health emergency.”
The article lists the ten studies which took place between 2003 and 2013 and can be viewed here.
CNN spoke to Marcia Crosse, who worked at the Government Accountability Office from 1983 to 2018. Prior to her retirement, she was serving as the director of health care. She told CNN:
There has always been a concern about a respiratory illness, readily transmittable, emerging as an infectious disease. During global outbreaks of H1N1, SARS and MERS, we dodged the bullet time and again.
But the CDC has been well aware, HHS has been well aware, the intelligence community has been well aware of the risk. Of course, nobody would know the specific details, we didn’t know it would be a coronavirus from China, but the threat of a respiratory illness was known.
According to CNN, ventilators cost approximately $15,000 and hospitals have “historically kept on hand only what is needed to serve patients in conditions outside of a pandemic.”
Dr. Steven Choi, chief quality officer for the Yale School of Medicine and the Yale New Haven Health system, told CNN:
People need to understand, though, that a typical adult patient normally stays in the ICU only for three to four days. What we’re seeing in Covid-19 patients in Asia, Italy and the US is that when patients do end up being ill enough to be admitted to the ICU, they need to be intubated and remain on a ventilator for two to three weeks, which increases the demands for ICU beds and ventilators dramatically.
President Trump has wisely tapped the private sector to help manufacture products that are essential in this fight against the coronavirus and has enlisted Ford and General Motors to manufacture ventilators. On Friday, Ventec Life Systems and General Motors announced a partnership expected to produce more than 10,000 ventilators per month starting as early as April.
Hey, just a parting thought. At the time of the 2017 NIH/CDC study, the DOJ was initiating a bogus Special Counsel investigation against our new President which continued on for two years. Following a brief respite, the House of Representatives began ramping up an impeachment inquiry to remove him from office. This was followed by an impeachment trial in the Senate which ended with his acquittal. Maybe if his administration hadn’t been so brutalized, he might have paid more attention to the study which concluded we needed more ventilators in case we were hit by a pandemic.