Rep. Payne, Jr. Leads Effort to get Emergency Ventilators to New Jersey and U.S.

April 7, 2020
Press Release

Media Contact:  Patrick Wright   -- 

Washington, D.C. — Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. is pushing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve an emergency ventilator design to help New Jersey and the rest of the county treat patients with COVID-19. 

Rep. Payne, Jr. and Rep. Collin Peterson (MN) 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 bipartisan members of Congress, including the entire New Jersey delegation.  Rep. Payne, Jr. has contacted New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s office about it and Vice President Mike Pence, chair of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, contacted designers about the device already.

Congressman Payne, Jr. said something needed to be done to handle the growing number of COVID-19 cases in his district and the nation.      

“I am tired of waiting for federal leadership to protect the health and safety of my constituents and American citizens during this public health crisis,” said Congressman Payne, Jr.  “This ventilator will save lives in my state and my country.  We can’t wait any longer for the President to take appropriate action to get desperately-needed supplies to the states.  I thank Rep. Peterson for his partnership and my 43 colleagues in the House for joining our effort to help American patients and health care professionals nationwide.”    

With the nation in dire need of ventilators and states bidding against each other for the limited supplies, this new ventilator 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 ventilators could start arriving in hospitals and health care facilities nationwide within days of production. 

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
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.


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