White House blocks trade adviser from testifying about Philips ventilator deal

Democrats on the House Oversight and Reform Committee found in July that HHS paid too much by as much as $500 million for ventilators to combat COVID-19. They found that HHS paid Philips $15,000 per ventilator, more than any other U.S. buyer. The committee said HHS also stopped working to take Philips up on an offer to speed shipments of ventilators.

The White House has blocked trade adviser Peter Navarro from affirming at a hearing prior to a House oversight committee Sept. 16 about a partly canceled agreement with Philips for ventilators, Politico reported..

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Maia Anderson –
Wednesday, September 16th, 2020
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HHS said Aug. 31 that it partly terminated the contract with Philips for 42,900 ventilators since the Strategic National Stockpile was full. Democrats on the House Oversight and Reform Committee discovered in July that HHS overpaid by as much as $500 million for ventilators to fight COVID-19. The committee stated HHS likewise stopped working to take Philips up on a deal to speed shipments of ventilators.

The oversight committee said Aug. 31 that it would investigate the negotiations with Philips after the $646 million agreement was quickly ended. Philips told the Associated Press that it wasnt provided a formal reason for the cancellation.

Michael Purpura, deputy counsel to President Donald Trump, composed to Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., head of the oversight committee, Sept. 9 saying the White House wouldnt make Mr. Navarro readily available, according to Politico..

HHS said Aug. 31 that it partly ended the agreement with Philips for 42,900 ventilators due to the fact that the Strategic National Stockpile was full. Philips will still provide 12,300 of the devices. The firm likewise partly canceled ventilator agreements with Hamilton Medical and Vyaire Medical..

” In accordance with long-standing executive branch precedent that presidential consultants normally do not affirm in Congress, we respectfully decrease the invite,” Mr. Purpura wrote.

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