CUTLER BAY, Fla. – The reaction was strong enough for a few f-bombs.
“All these f------ ventilators. This is what is going on. Brand new. Brand f------ new.”
The video is from a resident who was taking some garbage to the South Dade Landfill last week. He was stunned to see pallets full of brand new, wrapped medical ventilators dumped as bulky trash among mattresses, tires and other waste.
His video shows hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of ventilators sitting on trash mountain.
What’s dumped is usually plowed under within a day, so those ventilators are probably gone now.
“I just thought it was a lot of waste,” the resident said. “I mean, thousands and thousands of medical units that are being just tossed out.”
From the packaging, Local 10 News traced the model and the manufacturer: Beijing Aerospace Changfeng Ltd. in Beijing.
A posting from a broker shows the device selling at $26,000 during the height of need last spring, as U.S. medical workers scrambled to find ventilators for an exploding number of COVID-19 patients.
However, the Beijing Aerospace ChangFeng Ltd ACM812A was not on a list of 86 ventilator models approved for emergency authorized use by the FDA.
6/ This is the FDA’s list of ventilators approved for emergency authorized use. There are 86 models. The Beijing Aerospace ChangFeng Ltd ACM812A is not listed among them:@WPLGLocal10 pic.twitter.com/RtgpE5UKcX— Glenna Milberg (@GlennaWPLG) April 19, 2021
“I can understand if they were used or damaged, but these were brand new units still in the packaging,” said the resident who made the landfill discovery.
His video shows a truck dumping the ventilators.
Local 10 News tracked the company from the truck to a customs broker in Doral, where we learned that the specifics of items cleared through U.S. Customs is not public information.
“Since we are the customs broker, who clears customs for whoever the actual importer was, we can’t give that information without first getting authorization from the importer,” said Sergio Lozano, VP of Alpha Brokers Corp.
The FDA says that any medical device without approval may not be used, so the options are to either take it out of the country or take it to be destroyed.
The latter is the far less costly option of the two — and apparently, the path taken here.
2/ The stamp on the crate shows the ventilator manufacturer is a 35yr old company in Beijing: Aerospace Changfeng Ltd.— Glenna Milberg (@GlennaWPLG) April 19, 2021
The shipment likely came through US Customs last May. @WPLGLocal10 pic.twitter.com/MpDdCi5dJa
4/ A Doral-based customs broker shepherded the shipment of ventilators through US Customs in #Miami .— Glenna Milberg (@GlennaWPLG) April 19, 2021
The same company brought the shipment to the dump last afternoon on April 14th.
The VP there says he isn’t authorized to make the importer’s information public...@WPLGLocal10 pic.twitter.com/I1KxJhvqqZ