The US Federal Emergency Management Agency returned a shipment of Russian ventilators after the same models reportedly caught fire in St. Petersburg, a FEMA spokesperson said.
When asked about the ventilators the spokesperson said they had been sent at the beginning of April to the United States.
“At the time, a severe ventilator shortage was projected in New York (NY) and New Jersey (NJ), so the ventilators were delivered to warehouses owned by the two states. Thankfully, the flattening curve meant these ventilators were not needed, but they were held in reserve in case the situations in NY and NJ worsened," the statement said.
"The ventilators have not been deployed to hospitals. Out of an abundance of caution, the states are returning the ventilators to FEMA. The conclusion(s) of the investigation being conducted by the Russian authorities into the fire in St. Petersburg will help inform our decision regarding any future use of the ventilators.”
FEMA later noted that none of the Russian-supplied ventilators brought into the US had burst into flames.