Pentagon has not yet sent 2,000 ventilators due to lack of shipment location
The Pentagon has not shipped out any of the 2,000 ventilators it offered to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) earlier this month because HHS has not yet provided a shipping location, multiple outlets reported on Tuesday.
Though the Defense Department had planned to deliver an initial 1,000 ventilators, HHS asked the department to wait, Lt. Gen. Giovanni Tuck, the Pentagon’s top logistics official, told a small group of reporters.
“There was discussion with HHS on where to send them, and then they said, ‘Hey. Wait. We’re trying to take a look at the demand that’s required,’ and so we were asked to just wait while there was just some sorting through,” Tuck said, according to CNN.
HHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper had announced two weeks ago that the Pentagon would give the deployable ventilators and 5 million respirator masks to HHS in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
State officials facing a shortage of masks and ventilators have increasingly asked Washington for help getting supplies to protect health care workers and treat patients with COVID-19, as hospitals are quickly using up their stockpiles.
Tuck said the department is ready to ship the initial 1,000 ventilators as soon as HHS provides a location and that the other 1,000 can be shipped within days of getting an order.
He added that about 1.5 million of the 5 million respirator masks have been sent, with another 500,000 to be shipped this week. HHS has not yet asked for the remaining 3 million.
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