Esper: Pentagon will provide respirators, ventilators to Dept of Health and Human Services

Coronavirus

Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks during a joint news conference with Japan’s Defense Minister Taro Kono at the Pentagon in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Tuesday that the Pentagon will provide 5 million respirators and 2,000 specialized ventilators to federal heath authorities to help in the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Esper told Pentagon reporters that the ventilators are designed for use by deployed troops and the military will need to train civilians how to use them. He said some may have “single-use” limitations.

U.S. officials have talked about the shortage of ventilators to help treat patients with the virus.

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