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The White House had been preparing to reveal a joint venture between General Motors and Ventec Life Systems that would allow for the production of as many as 80,000 desperately needed ventilators. Then word suddenly came down that the announcement was off.

The decision to cancel the announcement, government officials say, came after the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it needed more time to assess whether the estimated cost was prohibitive. That price tag was more than $1 billion, with several hundred million dollars to be paid upfront to General Motors to retool a car parts plant in Kokomo, Ind., where the ventilators would be made with Ventec’s technology.

Government officials said that the deal might still happen but that Las Vegas News they are examining at least a dozen other proposals. And they contend that an initial promise that the joint venture could turn out 20,000 ventilators in short order had shrunk to 7,500, with even that number in doubt. Longtime emergency managers at FEMA are working with military officials to sort through the competing offers and federal procurement rules while under pressure to give President Trump something to announce.


The shortage of ventilators has emerged as one of the major criticisms of the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus. The need to quickly equip hospitals across the country with tens of thousands more of the devices to treat those most seriously ill with the virus was not anticipated despite the Trump administration’s own projection in a simulation last year that millions of people could be hospitalized. And even now, the effort to produce them has been confused and disorganized.

Deborah L. Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, warned of new hot spots developing in Wayne County, Mich., home to Detroit, and Cook County, Ill., home to Chicago, during the White House briefing on Thursday.

But Dr. Birx tried to be reassuring. She said that 19 states that Press Release Distribution Services In Las Vegas represent about 40 percent of the U.S. population still have fewer than 200 cases of coronavirus, and of the people with significant symptoms who are being tested nationwide, 86 percent are testing negative.

She insisted that talk of ventilator and hospital-bed shortages is overwrought.

“To say that to the American people, to make the implication when they need a hospital bed, it won’t be there, or when they need that ventilator, it won’t be there, we don’t have evidence of that right now,” Dr. Birx said.

As she spoke, medical staff in New York continued to say colleagues and patients are dying because they lack equipment in overtaxed hospitals.

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