President Trump was pressed Wednesday by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins on the ventilator shortage at the nation’s hospitals.
“Hospitals are still supposed to have ventilators too, and when we have thousands of ventilators, it sounds like a lot. But this is a very unforeseen thing, nobody ever thought of these numbers. Nobody saw numbers like this even with regard to testing, normally we wouldn’t be doing testing and they decided to do it. Very, very hard to ramp up. Now we’re getting highly sophisticated tests and it’s going very well,” he said.
Asked why it took so long if the US knew it needed more ventilators, he said, “Well we knew – it depends, it depends on how it goes, worst case, absolutely, best case, not at all. So we’re going to have to see where it goes. But we are ordering thousands and thousands of ventilators and they’re complex. These are complex machines.”
Trump asked Vice President Mike Pence how many ventilators the US has.
“We have a specific number of ventilators in the stockpile. It’s in excess of 10,000. And you just heard the announcement from the Department of Defense, they’ll be adding several more thousand to that,” he said, adding that that number doesn’t count all of the ventilators that exist in the marketplace and in healthcare facilities around the country.
Pence went on to praise the “tremendous spirit” among industry leaders who are “ready to step in and add to that volume.
Hear what was said: