An Israeli engineer has reportedly failed to supply ventilators for which he was paid $69.1 million by New York State.
According to a report in BuzzFeed News, Yaron Oren-Pines, a Silicon Valley engineer with no background in medical supplies , promised 1,450 ventilators to New York State for $47,656 apiece.
VICE PRESIDENT REJECTED WHITE HOUSE’S PART ON THE PURCHASE
NYstate paid $69 million for ventilators after he tweeted at President Donald Trump and the White House coronavirus task force recommended him as a vendor.
Trump urged Ford and General Motors on Twitter to “START MAKING VENTILATORS, NOW!” Yaron Oren-Pines, an electrical engineer in Silicon Valley, replied: “We can supply ICU Ventilators, invasive and noninvasive. Have someone call me URGENT.”
Even though Oren-Pines has no experience in government contracting or medical devices, the state paid him the money within just three days. Buzfeed reported that New York had entered into the contract with Oren-Pines at the direct recommendation of the White House coronavirus task force.
But the ventilators reportedly never arrived.
Reached by telephone, Oren-Pines said “neither me nor my company is providing any comment on this,” and then hung up. He did not respond to subsequent text messages.
Following publication of the article, a spokesperson for Vice President Mike Pence, Katie Miller, said: “The White House Coronavirus Task Force was never informed of this contract and was not involved in it at all.”