Yesterday, the NYTimes ran a story about how the HHS dept tried to purchase tens of thousands of ventilators in bulk for this very reason back in 2012. The contract was awarded, per the story, to a west coast company owned by Japanese interests, and the price was $3k/unit. However, after prototypes were delivered a European company swooped in and bought the company that was awarded the contract. It just so happened that the European company also sold ventilators... for $10k/unit. Predictably, the new owners of the contract had no desire to fulfil it. Here's the relevant quote from the NYTimes article...
The purchase price of the company was 108 million dollars. The Times article mentions 40,000 units as a number the feds wanted, so 3k times 40k = 120 million. I find it hard to believe based on these numbers that the company had much of value outside of that one government contract.
One might ask themselves why the administration that was otherwise aggressive in its statements and actions compared to previous administrations in regard to pursuing antitrust actions both within the FTC and the DOJ, would turn a blind eye to a merger which halted fulfilment of a government contract due to a rather obvious conflict of interest with possible price-fixing intent.
Well, there's an answer to that, too, it seems. For some reason the NY Times left this out of their story.
Covidien itself was sold later on. In January of 2012, Covidien's share price was around 40 dollars, on a market cap of about 28 billion just after the 2012 election. The FTC gave only a cursory objection to Medtronic buying Covidien for 42.9 billion in late 2014. As of the week of the FTC's approval of the Covidien sale to Medtronic, the share price was up from the 40 dollars/share in 2012 to 101 dollars/share in Nov 2014. 15 billion dollars in two years is not a bad haul for a cost basis of 2 million and change to few Clinton/Obama lackeys.
Funny thing about that FTC merger ruling on Medtronics and Covidien, though... apparently the FTC 'forgot' to follow up on its promise of overseeing Medtronic's divestment of its drug-coated catheter/balloon business to the company in Colorado mentioned in the Reuters article above, because in another release in 2018 it seems that Medtronic is a major competitor in this business. In any case, if this story is accurate the whole drug coated balloon business among all manufacturers is worth around 5.9 billion dollars, and Medtronic was not the leader of that market in 2014, C.R. Bard was. I think all of this solidifies the notion that the FTC's objection to the Medtronic purchase of Covidien was merely a charade to keep up appearances. They had no problems letting a company that had stopped one of their cabinet agencies from fulfilling a contract cash in on a 15 billion dollar surge in their company's valuation, after said company had paid their tribute to Podesta and co.
In short, there was going to be a government stockpile of ventilators, until the government took a bribe to not keep a stockpile of ventilators. Then there wasn't going to be a government stockpile of ventilators, so if any of your friends or relatives die due to ventilator rationing, send Obama a thank-you card.