New York City stockpiled ventilators for a pandemic, only to later auction them off: report

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In 2006, then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration began purchasing ventilators to allow the city to be prepared for a pandemic like the current coronavirus crisis – only for the city to later auction them off, according to a report. ProPublica reported Monday that the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene issued a report in 2006 on the city’s preparedness for pandemic influenza – similar to the 1918 Spanish Flu or the 2019 novel coronavirus – that projected the city would need thousands of extra ventilators in order to properly treat all of its residents who got sick. The plan was then put into action, with the city initially buying 500 ventilators before it ran out of money to buy more and to maintain the ones it had already stockpiled, according to ProPublica.