The Trump administration has been withholding a stockpile of 20,000 ventilators and has yet to say how many have been released.
On Tuesday, Mike Pence appeared on Fox News where he was pressed to answer that question after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) urged the administration to release the federal stockpile of ventilators as COVID-19 cases surge in the state.
“Those are needed when this thing kicks in,” Fox News host Harris Faulkner explained to Pence. “It attacks your lungs and it becomes pneumonic. It is powerful stuff and we need to gear up.”
“So, if the spike now is doubling the number of cases in New York every three days,” the Fox News host continued, “and we’re almost at what we thought would be an apex and we’re not there yet.”
Faulkner went on to note that the country was “woefully underprepared on the number of ventilators.”
“Why not just release that stockpile now?” she wondered.
“Well, what I can tell you and your viewers,” Pence replied, “is that we’re doing just that. We’re in the process of literally sending the entire national stockpile out.”
“We are spinning up industry every single day,” Pence insisted. “And the president’s made it fully clear, he’s fully prepared to use the Defense Production Act.”
Take a look at the altercation in the video clip below: