An electrical engineer from Silicon Valley got a $69 million contract to produce ventilators after tweeting at President Donald Trump last month.
But the engineer, Yaron Oren-Pines (pictured), never delivered any of the 1,450 ventilators to the state of New York, which ordered them from him in response to a recommendation from the president’s Coronavirus Task Force.
BuzzFeed News reports: On March 27, as emergency rooms in New York and across the country began filling with coronavirus patients struggling to breathe, President Donald Trump posted on Twitter to urge Ford and General Motors to “START MAKING VENTILATORS, NOW!” One of the thousands of replies that the tweet attracted struck an equally urgent tone: “We can supply ICU Ventilators, invasive and noninvasive. Have someone call me URGENT.” Its author was Yaron Oren-Pines, an electrical engineer in Silicon Valley. A specialist in mobile phone technology, he currently has just 75 followers on Twitter and no apparent experience in government contracting or medical devices. … Not a single ventilator ever arrived.
The state is now trying to recoup the money it paid to Oren-Pines, who refused comment.
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