Currently we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The current President of the United States made a claim in the April 13th press briefing that the number of ventilators that were requested by the states was grossly over estimated and that as of the press briefing that everyone that needed a ventilator could have a ventilator. He also mentioned that anyone that needed a hospital bed could have one.

Ventilators are critical for the individuals that are the hardest hit by the COVID-19 Coronavirus. As this critical resource is needed to ensure that the fewest number of individuals perish of the virus getting the ventilators deployed to hospitals is a critical function of fighting the pandemic.

Is it, therefore, true that as of April 2020 that every patient that requires a ventilator has access to one as claimed by the President of the United States.

For reference the claims from the briefing:

starting at around 19:27

You don’t hear ventilators anymore. They have all the ventilators they need, which we were right about. We said, “You’re asking for too many. You don’t need that.” And in all fairness, these two people right here, Dr. Birx, Dr. Fauci, they said, “I don’t think they need that many ventilators.” I said, “I agree.”

again around 23:00

And they shouldn’t be abused because you take a look at what’s happened, nobody’s asking for ventilators except outside of our country. Outside of our country, they’re calling me. Every country, they’re calling me. So many countries, and I’m going to try and help them because we have thousands of ventilators being built. But nobody’s asking for ventilators. Nobody’s asking for beds because we built hospitals. I think we built 20,000 beds in a period of a couple of weeks.

and one more around the 40:00 mark

at this point, I’m more focused on getting past this nightmare of a epidemic or a pandemic, anything you want to call it. We got to get past it. No one who has needed a ventilator has not gotten a ventilator. Think of that. You know, you heard all about ventilators, ventilators, we need ventilators, because they didn’t have them, because the states should’ve had them. No one who has needed a ventilator has not gotten a ventilator. No one who has needed a hospital bed has been denied a hospital bed. That’s not even really our responsibility.

  • 2
    Frankly the problem is not "dealing with the current demand for ventilators" it's dealing with the demand for ventilators as the number of cases rise. Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 15:13
  • 1
    A fair point. But if we are flattening out in a number of locations and this claim holds true it would be notable. The indications from hospitals and nurses still seems to be that there are not enough resources across the board so I'm interested if this claim in particular is verifiable now as it would be a strong leading indicator of how we might be able to stay ahead of the virus in the future. If it is not true then we are still very far behind the 8 ball, particularly if we start seeing a second and third wave.
    – VerasVitas
    Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 15:17
  • 4
    @DJClayworth according to the University of Washington's projection, the need for ventilators peaked yesterday (4/13/2020) at 14,407 in the US. covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america
    – DavePhD
    Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 15:22
  • 3
    @DavePhD According to the UofW the average projected need peaked at 15K respirators yesterday. But it has an area of uncertainty that goes as high as 45K respirators. You want to bet the lives of 30k people? Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 15:27
  • 2
    @DJClayworth I already had a relative die from the virus. Obviously I don't want anyone else to die. According to this webmd.com/lung/news/20200318/… there are 200,000 ventilators in the US. It's still possible there could be a shortage in particular locations though.
    – DavePhD
    Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 15:34

1 Answer 1


Let's start by refuting one of the specific claims made in the cited ramblings:

"nobody’s asking for ventilators except outside of our country."

That is unquestionably not true.

  • 7
    The cited articles are all posted "around" the beginning of April (March 24 - April 3). The cited quotations were spoken on April 13, 10 days later than the latest of those cited articles. While I do not know or pretend to know the manufacturing complexity of ventilators, is it not possible that supply increased in those 10 days? Articles published closer to the date of the quotation in the OP would be more convincing.
    – Ertai87
    Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 16:56
  • 1
    @Ertai87 the expected need for ventilators declined during that time because the spread of the disease was slowed by nationwide social distancing.
    – Colin
    Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 19:18
  • @Colin Among other factors, I agree. But for whatever reason, either supply increased drastically or demand decreased drastically, I don't know and the correct answer is probably "both", but the situation on April 3 and the situation on April 13th were not (or at least there exists the possibility that they are not, which this answer doesn't consider) the same.
    – Ertai87
    Commented Apr 15, 2020 at 14:37
  • 1
    There wasn't a drastic increase in supply (not enough time to ramp up production from when this became a focus). There was a decrease in demand (though an increase in the number of ventilators actually in use).
    – Colin
    Commented Apr 15, 2020 at 19:48
  • @Colin: please give some citations and then post it as an answer. Comments are not for pseudo-answers.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Apr 16, 2020 at 5:07

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .