WIRED: Ventilator Makers Race to Prevent a Possible Shortage
March 20, 2020
hospital room ventilators

Eric Gjerde, CEO of Airon Corporation, a small ventilator maker in Gainesville, Florida, has been getting far more business than he’d like in recent weeks. An Italian company asked him for 2,000 machines. His distributor in California, working with state officials there, asked for 500 more. Normally, his company sells 50 “in a good month,” Gjerde says, and they only keep so many parts on hand. He told the Italians no, and he told the Californians he’d do his best. “America has to come first,” he says.

On Monday, the California distributor came back to him: Could he send another 200? “Of course they want them today, and you just can’t do that,” Gjerde says. “Making ventilators is not a trivial process.” But again he said he’d do what he could.

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