A report by a panel of the House Oversight Committee raises serious questions about the roughly $3 billion in taxpayer money spent by the Trump administration as it scrambled to acquire ventilators, NBC News’s Heidi Przybyla writes:
“[I]nternal emails and documents obtained by Democrats on the House Oversight Committee suggest that the Trump administration failed to enforce an existing contract with a major medical manufacturer, delayed negotiations for more than a month and subsequently overpaid as much as $500 million for tens of thousands of the devices — a costly error at a time when officials from some of the biggest states were warning of shortages.”
The report is titled, “The Trump Administration’s Failures in Contract Management and Inept Negotiation by Senior White House Officials Denied Americans Ventilators During the Coronavirus Pandemic and Squandered Up to $504 Million in Taxpayer Funds.”
Matt Smith, a spokesman for Oversight Committee Republicans, told NBC that Democrats were politicizing the federal coronavirus response.
"After months of Democratic governors rushing to television cameras to beg for more ventilators, Congressional Democrats are now unhappy with the Administration’s successful efforts to quickly secure a robust supply from American manufacturers," Smith said. "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."