A man who tweeted an offer to make ventilators was given $69million to do so... but never did.
Yaron Oren-Pines was one of the thousands of people who replied to one of Donald Trump's Tweets calling for the desperately needed medical equipment last month, and apparently it caught someone's eye.
On March 27, the President tweeted: "General Motors MUST immediately open their stupidly abandoned Lordstown plant in Ohio, or some other plant, and START MAKING VENTILATORS, NOW!!!!!! FORD, GET GOING ON VENTILATORS, FAST!!!!!!"
A state official told Buzzfeed that Oren-Pines was directly recommended to them by the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
Oren-Pines himself told the site: "neither me nor my company is providing any comment on this."
New York, like most states, normally does not pay out on contracts before they are fulfilled; but Governor Andrew Cuomo temporarily suspended that safeguard last month via executive order, as the state scrambled to source medical equipment amid the coronavirus outbreak.
"We had no choice but to overturn every rock to find ventilators and other needed equipment," senior Cuomo adviser Rich Azzopardi told the site.
A spokesperson for Vice-President Mike Pence, who chairs the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said it was "never informed of this contract and was not involved in it at all."