Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday the U.S. has “identified tens of thousands of ventilators” needed for treating coronavirus patients, though they will need to be converted.
“On the subject of ventilators, we are working with healthcare providers around America and suppliers,” Pence said at a press conference with the coronavirus task force, which he is leading, according to Fox News. “We’re encouraged to learn that we’ve literally identified tens of thousands of ventilators that can be converted to treat patients. And we remain increasingly confident that we will have the ventilators that we need as the coronavirus makes its way across America.”
The vice president hailed manufacturers for increasing production on face masks used by medical professionals.
“We’re encouraged to see companies like Honeywell and 3M, that I visited a few short weeks ago, take advantage of the changes in the law last night that allow the sale of industrial masks directly to hospitals,” Pence said. “Those companies have now greatly increased by the tens of millions their production of so-called N95 masks that will give our healthcare workers the protection that they need to administer to those who are dealing with the symptoms or the disease of coronavirus.”
President Donald Trump said during the briefing he would “be invoking the Defense Production Act” to bolster medical supplies and equipment, but later said it would only be used if necessary, according to CBS News.
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