Vice President Mike Pence said additional medical supplies are being quickly made available to states to assist with the coronavirus pandemic.
Pence, who is leading the White House’s task force on combating the virus, said at a Thursday news conference that private companies are leading the way in working with the federal government to make sure hospitals treating patients have access to ventilators.
“On the subject of ventilators, we are working with healthcare providers around America and suppliers. We are encouraged to learn that we literally identified tens of thousands of ventilators that can be converted to treat patients,” he said. “And we remain confident that we'll have the ventilators that we need as the coronavirus makes its way across America.”
The vice president was asked about the availability of N-95 masks and said there will be 35 million masks available immediately because of a public-private partnership with the company 3M. Pence said private companies have “greatly increased, by the tens of millions, their production of so-called N-95 masks that will give our healthcare workers the protection that they need to administer to those who are” dealing with COVID-19.
He also pointed out that testing across the country has now increased after an initial lag at the beginning of the outbreak.
“Because of the public-private partnership that the president initiated several weeks ago,” Pence said, “tens of thousands of tests are being performed every day.”
As of Thursday morning, at least 10,201 people in the United States have tested positive for COVID-19, and 149 have died, according to the New York Times tracker.