President Donald Trump on Tuesday revealed that his greatest fear during the coronavirus pandemic was not having enough ventilators to help save victims of the virus.
“The scariest day of my life was about a month ago when after a long day of meetings my team told me that we were going to be needing 130,000 ventilators,” Trump said, noting that the country was at least a hundred thousand short.
The president commented on the ongoing coronavirus crisis during a press conference in the Rose Garden on Tuesday evening.
“I knew that every person that needed a ventilator and didn’t get one would die,” Trump said. “And that’s what we were told.”
He recalled reports in other countries of doctors being forced to choose which patient got a ventilator, because of shortages.
“I instructed my team to move heaven and earth to make sure this didn’t happen,” Trump said.
The president said that governors of states were requesting “unreasonable” quantities of ventilators to meet their estimated needs, but thankfully did not need those quantities.
He said that his team effectively rationed ventilators and closely monitored the supply to make sure no one was left without a ventilator.
Trump said he ordered the construction of 150,000 to 200,000 “high quality” ventilators that he would add to the federal stockpile that was depleted during the previous administration.