Nearly two hundred ventilators sent to California from the federal government needed repairs, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said on Saturday. Yet instead of taking the opportunity to bash Trump, Newsom said he sent the ventilators to be repaired and that they would be returned – working – on Monday.
Newsom said during a press conference that the ventilators had been sent by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and that they were being repaired by Bloom Energy, The Hill reported.
“Rather than lamenting about it, rather than complaining about it, rather than pointing fingers, rather than generating headlines in order to generate more stress and anxiety, we got a car and a truck,” Newsom said after he toured the facility where the ventilators would be repaired. “We had those 170 brought here to this facility at 8 a.m. this morning, and they are quite literally working on those ventilators right now.”
On Twitter, Newsom said the ventilators were expected to be fixed and back in Los Angeles on Monday.
“That’s the spirit of CA,” he added.
Newsom said he learned about the ventilator issues after visiting Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) last week, The Hill reported.
In a statement released Saturday, Newsom’s office explained that Bloom Energy had “transformed its production facility to quickly refurbish life-saving ventilators to provide California with the critical equipment it needs to prepare for a potential surge in COVID-19 patients.”
The statement also explained that California had 7,500 ventilators across its hospital systems when the coronavirus outbreak began – and set a goal to acquire an additional 10,000 ventilators.
“To date, the state has added 4,252 ventilators, approximately 1,000 of which needed to be refurbished. Through a partnership with the state, Bloom Energy is working to refurbish ventilators in real time. Yesterday, Bloom Energy refurbished 80 ventilators and it expects to refurbish an additional 120 ventilators today,” the statement said.
The statement also announced that “more than 350 businesses and manufacturers in California reached out to offer to re-tool their facilities to make medical supplies and essential products during this crisis.” The Gap and St. John Knits, for example, have committed to making masks, gowns, and scrubs for hospital workers. Anheuser-Busch and other distilleries are working to make hand sanitizer.
Of course, Newsom’s mention of the broken ventilators still created the headlines he claimed he didn’t want. The Hill, for example, used the headline, “California governor: 170 ventilators sent from Trump administration were ‘not working.’” Time used a similar headline: “California Gov. Gavin Newsom Says Federal Government Sent ‘170 Broken Ventilators.’”
It is unclear whether Newsom intended for this to happen in an effort to knock the Trump administration, or if he simply wanted to highlight how a local business was helping with the crisis – or both.
So far, no other state has said it has received broken ventilators from the federal government. Multiple countries that received coronavirus tests from China, however, said a majority of the tests were faulty. Dutch officials also said some 600,000 masks received from China “did not close over the face properly, or had defective filters.”