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'I Was Really Troubled' By Your Comments

Thursday night Seema Verma, one of the top members of the White House coronavirus task force and the current head of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, repeatedly dodged when Fox News’ Martha MacCallum grilled her over possible ventilator shortages.

Tucker Carlson was so stunned by that exchange he invited Verma on his show Friday night and opened by saying, “I watched that exchange last night, and I must be honest with you, I was really troubled by it. Because you were asked a direct question by Martha MacCallum, ‘do we have enough ventilators in ICU units,’ and you appeared to intentionally not answer it, so I’m going to ask you that question again and hope that we will be reassured by the answer. Do we have enough ventilators to treat a surge in cases coronavirus right now, do you believe?”

“We have stockpile of ventilators. So right now today we are able to address people that need ventilators,” Verma said. “Our strategy though is to not make the situation worse, but there is a stockpile of ventilators. The president talked about ventilators today and said we’re going to purchase more to make sure that we have that backup supply.”

Carlson pressed on specifics, asking, “Can you put some meat on those bones and give us a sense of how many ventilators are in place? How many are in the stockpile? How many do you think we will need?”

“That’s a good question,” Verma said. “In terms of numbers, we’re still assessing. We’re still working with hospitals to understand what their needs are. Right now though, I will tell you that we haven’t had hospitals at this point in large numbers saying we need more ventilators. But that situation could change rapidly. We’re trying to make sure that we stay in communication with hospitals, with the health care facilities so we can understand what their needs are.”

Towards the end of the interview, Carlson again asked, “You’re confident that if we had a huge uptick in the need for that specific piece of equipment that we could get new ventilators into icu units quickly?”

Verma said she didn’t want to make “drastic predictions” because of how quickly things are changing, but said today’s announcement from the president gave “a lot more flexibility to the health care system.”

“It’s not just about having supplies. It’s also making sure that they have the flexibility on the front lines, and those are some of the things, those are some of the actions that we are taking to make sure that the health care system is prepared,” she added.

You can watch above, via Fox News.

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