News & Politics

REPORT: Obama-Biden Administration Ignored Three Government Reports That Hospitals Lacked Ventilators & Supplies

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden share a laugh in the Oval Office July 21, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Joe Biden has been struggling to get attention during the coronavirus pandemic and has made repeated claims that unlike Trump, he is competent to lead the country through such crises.

But, a new bombshell report reveals that the Obama-Biden Administration ignored at least 3 government reports in which “federal officials predicted the United States would experience a critical lack of ventilators” during a global pandemic.

“In at least 10 government reports from 2003 to 2015, federal officials predicted the United States would experience a critical lack of ventilators and other lifesaving medical supplies if it faced a viral outbreak like the one currently sweeping the country,” CNN reported on Sunday. CNN argues that this “undermines President Donald Trump’s claim last week that “nobody in their wildest dreams” could have imagined the demand for ventilators that now exists,” but fails to acknowledge Trump was correct when he said, “Many administrations preceded me — for the most part they did very little, in terms of  [equipment shortage] … We’re making much of the stuff now, it’s being delivered now.”

A 2017 study by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did find “substantial concern exists that intensive care units (ICUs) might have insufficient resources to treat all persons requiring ventilator support” and warned Strategic National Stockpile “might not suffice to meet demand during a severe public health emergency,” but, CNN noted, “federal agencies were underscoring the risks of insufficient ventilators and other equipment as far back as President George W. Bush’s administration.”

Seven reports were issued between 2003 and 2007, while Joe Biden was a U.S. Senator, and three while he was Barack Obama’s vice president:

  • A 2009 Occupational Safety and Health Administration publication noted: “Healthcare facilities can be overwhelmed, creating a shortage of hospital staff, beds, ventilators and other supplies.
  • An August 2009 report by the Executive Office to the President related to preparations for a H1N1 outbreak said: “During the peak, 1 or 2 out of every 2,000 Americans might be hospitalized. Cases requiring mechanical ventilation or intensive care could reach 10 to 25 per 100,000 population, requiring 50 to 100 percent or more of the total ICU capacity available in the United States and placing great stress on a system that normally operates at 80 percent of capacity.”
  • A 2015 study by researchers from the Department of Health and Human Services and Center for Disease Control and Prevention modeled the need for ventilators during an influenza outbreak, calculating that “an additional 7000 to 11,000 ventilators will be needed, averting a pandemic total of 35,000 to 55,000 deaths. A 30% CAR [clinical attack rate], high severity scenario, will need approximately 35,000 to 60,500 additional ventilators, averting a pandemic total 178,000 to 308,000 deaths.”

Back in 2009, the Strategic National Stockpile of N95 was depleted during the H1N1 pandemic but never restocked by the Obama-Biden administration. So, President Trump was correct when faulted prior administrations for failing to heed warnings about medical supply shortages. Had these warnings been heeded, that would have been 14 years of preparation before Trump took office to ensure that this country had enough supplies on hand to handle a pandemic, which is a lot more than the three years Trump had to resolve these shortfalls. It’s hardly fair to place the blame on Trump for failing to fix a problem ignored by multiple administrations before him, especially considering that the Obama-Biden administration had more than one pandemic occur on their watch–which should have made them take those three warnings they received seriously.

_____

Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis