The Ventilator Supply and Demand Problem in the Time of the COVID Pandemic Sometimes things can get so complicated that you need a film noir detective to make sense of it all. Getting ventilators in a pandemic is just one of those complicated things.
NPR logo Chasing The Ventilator Race

Chasing The Ventilator Race

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In March, the United States suddenly had demand for a lot more ventilators than the supply that existed. Even if the ventilator manufacturers started operating at maximum capacity, they wouldn't be able to produce enough ventilators to meet that demand alone.

Before long, a ventilator company, a die casting company and a titan of car manufacturing were all working together to make as many as they could.

In the second episode of our Quarantine Edition of Planet Money Shorts, a fictional personal investigator follows the loose threads of this story to make sense of how this supply chain works and find out how these ventilators are getting made.

Listen to the original Planet Money podcast episode here! Subscribe to our video series here — and while you're at it, subscribe to our podcast.