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Cleveland Clinic CEO among health executives at White House to roll out ventilator loan program

Dr. Tom Mihaljevic, president and CEO of Cleveland Clinic, was part of the panel of executives to help launch the 'Dynamic Ventilator Reserve.'
Credit: AP
Dr. Tomislav Mihaljevic, president and CEO, Cleveland Clinic, speaks about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House, Tuesday, April 14, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON — There was a decidedly Cleveland flavor to Tuesday's White House Coronavirus Task Force Briefing in Washington.

President Trump announced the formation of the 'Dynamic Ventilator Reserve,' a loan program with the goal of providing ventilators for coronavirus patients. The president says there are currently 60,000 unused ventilators in hospitals around the nation.  

Trump invited several hospital executives across the country to meet with him at the White House to discuss the program. According to The Hill, among those groups represented were leaders from Premier, LifePoint Health, NYU Langone, HCA Healthcare, the American Hospital Association, and the Federation of American Hospitals.

Also in attendance was Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Dr. Tom Mihaljevic. 

When it was his turn to speak at the podium duing the news conference at the White House Rose Garden, Dr. Mihaljevic spoke of what he called 'a slightly different story about the COVID pandemic.'

"In our home state of Ohio with the early institution of social distancing, our ability to scale up the testing and ramping up the capacity, we've actually seen a stable number of patients over the last eight to ten days," Mihaljevic said. "Only 160 patients have been hospitalized with COVID infection in the Cleveland Clinic Health System." 

According to Reuters, citing a White House official, the Dynamic Ventilator Reserve is a public-private partnership in which major healthcare systems will agree to supply unused ventilators to make sure there is a steady supply of the machines in virus hot spots.

President Trump says the Dynamic Ventilator Reserve will be supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services. 

"This is a battle we're all in together," Mihaljevic added. "We coordinated our efforts, shared our resources and worked together as one. I'm firmly convinced that we can do a lot of good when we work together."

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