House Report Finds Trump Administration Overpaid $500 Million For Ventilators
House of Democrats released a report Friday charging that the Trump administration overpaid by as much as $500 million for ventilators and delayed negotiations for an offer for shipments. The effort to acquire ventilators was led by White House adviser Jared Kushner.
The report shows that the Trump administration paid Philips $15,000 per unit – more than any other American manufacturer. Other purchasers negotiated prices to be as low as $9,327 per ventilator. This money, as the report says, “could have been used to better support our nation’s crisis response efforts.”
“The waste of taxpayer funds caused by the Trump Administration’s incompetent procurement efforts for ventilators could be as much as $500 million or more,” according to a report released by Chairman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Illinois) on Friday.
“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,” Krishnamoorthi wrote.
Matt Smith, a spokesman for Oversight Committee Republicans called the report an “endless quest to politicize this pandemic.”
“Rather than provide credit for the more-than quadrupling of available ventilators in the national stockpile since March, they now seek to diminish President Trump’s success by throwing a tantrum over contracting terms. This is just the latest example of a Democratic Party more concerned with partisan politics than fighting COVID-19,” Smith said.
Democrats on the committee said they conducted the investigation aimed to determine the reason for ventilator shortage in the “initial critical months” of the coronavirus pandemic.