Peterson Pushes FDA to Act on Emergency Ventilator Alternative Design

April 8, 2020
Press Release

(Washington, DC) Representative Collin Peterson is leading a bipartisan effort to urge the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to move quickly to approve an emergency ventilator alternative design to help American patients and health care professionals nationwide respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Rep. Peterson and Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr., (NJ) co-wrote a letter to Stephen Hahn, FDA commissioner, to review and authorize a new device to supply hospitals and health care facilities during this global pandemic.  The letter was co-signed by 43 members of Congress, including the entire New Jersey delegation. 

“We all need to work together to use available resources to address this public health crisis,” said Peterson. "I urge the FDA to act quickly to move toward approving this emergency ventilator alternative and hopefully, save lives across the country.”

With the nation in dire need of ventilators and states bidding against each other for the limited supplies, this new ventilator alternative is a viable option to care for the thousands of coronavirus cases across the country.  If approved, the device could be manufactured in mass quantities at facilities coast to coast. 

Engineers at the University of Minnesota designed the device and made production specifications available online.  Local companies in or near every Congressional district could download the design and begin production immediately.  New ventilator alternatives could start arriving in hospitals and health care facilities nationwide within days of production.

Vice President Mike Pence, chair of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, contacted designers about the device already.

Dr. Jakub Tolar, Dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School -  "We are grateful to Rep. Peterson and the other signers of this letter for their ongoing support of researchers who are working to provide necessary equipment to medical professionals on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19."

Kari Jesme, Sales Manager at Digi-Key Electronics -  “We appreciate the support, attention and priority that Rep. Collin Peterson and his office have given this matter. It is urgent that we can get these devices to market and support the people that are fighting this virus daily.” 

Rep. Payne, Jr. and Rep. Peterson were joined on the letter by Reps. Terri A. Sewell (AL), Bobby L. Rush (IL), Betty McCollum (MN), Cindy Axne (IA), Angie Craig (MN), Mikie Sherrill (NJ), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD), John B. Larson (CT), Tom Malinowski (NJ), David Trone (MD), Christopher H. Smith (NJ), Ilhan Omar (MN), Mike Gallagher (WI), Peter T. King (NY), Greg Stanton (AZ), Kelly Armstrong (ND), Dean Phillips (MN), Elise M. Stefanik (NY), Lee Zeldin (NY), Darren Soto (FL), Albio Sires (NJ), Julia Brownley (SC), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ), Grace F. Napolitano (TX), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ), Andy Kim (NJ), Josh Gottheimer (NJ), Yvette D. Clarke (NY), Bennie Thompson (MS), Stephen F. Lynch (MA), Jeff Van Drew (NJ), Brendan F. Boyle (PA), Pete Stauber (MN), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY), Marcia L. Fudge (OH), Donald Norcross (NJ), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY), Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA), Vicente Gonzalez (TX), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA), and Frank Pallone (NJ).

 

Read the letter below.

 

The Honorable Stephen Hahn
Commissioner
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
10903 New Hampshire Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20993

 

Dear Commissioner Hahn:

With Americans dying daily from COVID-19 and states bidding against each other for life-saving ventilators, we urge you to review immediately the University of Minnesota’s ventilator design to help address the nationwide shortage of ventilators.

This ventilator was specifically designed to respond to the current COVID-19 crisis and can be manufactured quickly in mass quantities.  Also, it has a project sponsor who has partnered with industry leaders across the country in healthcare, manufacturing, and component distribution to ensure that they can immediately begin production once they have approval from FDA.

As local governments and hospitals are desperate to acquire needed ventilators, we urge you to use your emergency authorities to expeditiously review this ventilator design so we can treat more patients and save more American lives. Thank you.

Sincerely,

 

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