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House Dems say Trump Admin was played on a $ 644 million fan deal for fools

A patient with breathing tubes in the intensive care unit of Stamford Hospital in Connecticut in April 2020.

A patient with breathing tubes in the intensive care unit at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut in April 2020.
photo:: John Moore (Getty Images)

The White House was fooled into overpayment for fans for half a billion dollars in the first months of the novel coronavirus pandemic, House Democrats said in one Supervisory subcommittee Report released on Friday.

In 2014, Philips Respironics signed a contract with Health and Human Services to develop and reserve 10,000 units of its cheaper Trilogy Evo Universal ventilator at a cost of $ 3,280 each for a national inventory. Under the Trump administration, Philips received several extensions within its time limit. After the Food and Drug Administration finally approved this unit in September 2019, according to ProPublica, Health and Human Services signed a contract that gave Philips a year to deliver it to inventory and two more years to produce every 10,000. Philips instead focused on manufacturing more expensive ventilators such as the Trilogy EV300 for the commercial market as the contract was not required to prioritize the production of cheaper government ventilators.

Then the coronavirus pandemic hit. The report said that in January 2020, as concerns about the spread of the disease increased in the United States, Philips “turned to the Trump administration to accelerate the delivery of ventilators under its existing contract.” Instead, the White House (that was downplay the danger of the virus) ignored the offer. In March when doctors and health officials were across the country hit the alarm Due to a lack of ventilators, the White House offered Philips to extend the delivery date to September 2022.

Philips secured the expansion by suggesting that it would actually help improve delivery. The Trump administration did not question Philips and granted the change that rendered the Obama-era treaty unusable to support the country during this pandemic. The administration has never asked Philips to produce more ventilators under the existing contract.

Instead, the Trump administration negotiated a new contract with Philips in April 2020 Buy 43,000 of the more expensive ventilators at a cost of around $ 15,000 per unit, almost five times the unit price of the original contract. The new contract cost nearly $ 644 million.

Via NBC NewsThe US negotiator was Trump Trade advisor Peter Navarro, one of the architects of the government’s trade war with China and a source of Coronavirus misinformation who has Attacks started Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. According to the report, Navarro did not check whether the new units differed significantly from those that Philips had already agreed to produce (which was not the case) and simply signed the company’s opening offer:

The ventilators purchased under the new contract (called Trilogy EV300) were functionally identical to the fans (called Trilogy Evo Universals) required in the previous contract, but the Trump negotiators seemed gullible and admitted to Philips in all important matters, including the price . The documents show that the administration accepted Philips’ first offer without trying to negotiate a lower price.

Democrats wrote in the report that Navarro and the White House negotiating team were likely to fall for an email from Philips: “As promised, we spoke to our product specialists and they recommended choosing the EV300 for the more clinician-friendly Screens. “In fact, product specifications show that the cheaper and more expensive models had identical screens and almost the same user interface – something the White House might have recognized if they had even looked at pictures of them:

Images of several models of Philips ventilators.

Images of several models of Philips ventilators.
Screenshot:: Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy / Committee on Supervision and Reform / US House of Representatives (Fair use)

In particular, the April 2020 contract followed Trump’s decision in late March to enforce the Defense Production Law to force General Motors and Ventec Life Systems to do so Start building fans. Trump had previously resisted the immense pressure to rely on the act, which suggested that this was the case synonymous with socialismbut eventually decided to apply the law after the two companies proposed a price of $ 18,000 per unit for an order of $ 80,000, which is approximately $ 1.5 billion.

According to NBC News, Philips is on the right track to deliver most of the 43,000 more expensive units by the end of 2020 – at least there is.

The House Democrats in the report claimed that repeated renewals, the Trump administration’s failure to urge Philips on the original deal, and the gullibility of negotiators dealing with an almost identical product ended up wasting resources that could have been “Used for personal protective equipment (PPE) and critical medical care” in In short supply. Republicans on the House Oversight Committee have shot back that Democrats are hypocrites.

“After months of democratic governors hurrying to television cameras to ask for more fans, Congress Democrats are now unhappy with the government’s successful efforts to quickly ensure robust supply from American manufacturers,” said Matt Smith, spokesman for the republican committee towards NBC. “Instead of recognizing the more than four-fold increase in fans available in national inventories since March, they are now trying to detract from President Trump’s success by causing a tantrum over the terms of the contract.”

“The results of this investigation have led me to wonder how the American people have been unwittingly injured by the incompetence and inability of this government in the course of the pandemic and over the past three and a half years,” said Raja Krishnamoorthi, the chairman said the Subcommittee to NBC.

“I would probably prefer to order too many rather than too fewDaniel Adelman, professor of health analytics at the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago said the LA Times in May.

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