New York spent $250M on unused ventilators, X-ray machines amid COVID-19

When health systems and public health departments were scrambling to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, New York bought ventilators and X-ray machines for more than a quarter of a billion dollars. The products were never used and are sitting in storage, according to a Sept. 20 Politico report. 

The state bought 8,555 ventilators for $166 million and 1,179 X-ray machines for $86.4 million, officials told Politico. New York made the purchase when the state was the national epicenter of COVID-19 cases and public health experts forecasted the state would need 40,000 ventilators. 

National Guard officers are currently managing the warehoused, unused X-ray machines and ventilators — which, at the time of the purchase, then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo said were "a matter of life and death," according to Politico

The U.S. paid nearly $3 billion in 2020 to stockpile about 200,000 ventilators, a report found. Now, most New York hospitals have enough supply as COVID-19 treatments have moved away from ventilators, and "any medical equipment that could prepare the state for future public health emergencies or pandemics will be maintained and stored for future use," the health department told Politico

 

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