Its author was Yaron Oren-Pines, an electrical engineer in Silicon Valley. A specialist in mobile phone technology, he currently has just 75 followers on Twitter and no apparent experience in government contracting or medical devices.
But three days later, New York state paid Oren-Pines $69.1 million. The payment was for 1,450 ventilators — at an astonishing $47,656 per ventilator, at least triple the standard retail price of high-end models.
Not a single ventilator ever arrived.
A state official, speaking on background because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the terms of the deal, said New York entered into the contract with Oren-Pines at the direct recommendation of the White House coronavirus task force.