Plan to buy ventilators suspended because the Trump administration thinks it's a waste of money

The White House cut a deal with General Motors to manufacture 80,000 ventilators to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The New York Times reports that the Trump administration put off the announcement because it didn't like the price tag.

The decision to cancel the announcement, government officials say, came after the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it needed more time to assess whether the estimated cost was prohibitive. That price tag was more than $1 billion, with several hundred million dollars to be paid upfront to General Motors to retool a car parts plant in Kokomo, Ind., where the ventilators would be made with Ventec's technology.

It's a war, we're told. With all our other wars, there's no limit to how much money is blasted into space, or burned making fighter jets that can't fly in the rain. But as congress passed a $2tn bailout, much of it for private corporations, another $1bn on life-saving medical equipment was sudden cause to worry about costs.