The federal government is backing out of a controversial $646.7 million deal to buy ventilators from Royal Philips N.V., acting before the company had delivered a third of the order. ProPublica’s reporting prompted a congressional investigation finding “evidence of fraud, waste and abuse” in the acquisition of the Philips ventilators.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is reviewing the deal and a House Subcommittee is expanding investigations to other coronavirus deals made by the Phillips deal point man, Peter Navarro.
The congressional investigation determined the deal would have had the government overpaying for ventilators by as much as $500 million. Though the U.S. paid Phillips millions a decade ago to develop low-cost, rapidly deployable ventilators for a pandemic stockpile, Navarro’s team negotiated to pay four times the original price.
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