The Switzerland-based ventilator maker Hamilton Medical is opening a factory in Reno, Nev. so that it can meet a five-month, $551.6 million contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to Rep. Mark Amodei, R-NV.
“Nobody should be saying mission accomplished while we’re still living in the midst of this challenge. However, this is an important piece in making sure our healthcare professionals have access to some of the most essential lifesaving tools needed in this fight. It is my understanding that production at the new Reno factory will begin before the end of the month,” Amodei said in an April 10 news release.
Hamilton Ventilator and HHS officials did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment. The deal is among seven that HHS announced yesterday evening. Hamilton, under its contract, will produce 14,115 ventilators by July 3 — 850 by May 8 and 4,404 by May 22, according to HHS.
President Donald Trump on April 2 directed HHS Secretary Alex Azar to invoke the Korean War-era Defense Production Act to secure prioritized contracts to boost the number of ventilators in the Strategic National Stockpile. Governors and mayors across the country have complained of shortages of life-saving ventilators as the COVID-19 pandemic ramps up.
Just last week, Royal Philips (NYSE:PHG) said it would quadruple ventilator production by the third quarter under a $646.7 million DPA-related contract in order to deliver tens of thousands of ventilators.