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Episode 987: The Race To Make Ventilators | Planet Money

Today on the show: ventilators — the supply and demand problem of the COVID pandemic. The simplest way for the world to get more ventilators is for existing companies to max out production — pay overtime; hire extra workers; run the factory 24/7. They already know how to make ventilators and already have FDA approval.

The problem with that strategy is that there's a ceiling to it. Take the Seattle-area-based Ventec. They're set up to make around 200 ventilators a month. They could maybe get that up to 1,000. But that's not going to be nearly enough.