Trump Sees NASA’s COVID-19 Response Efforts First Hand

Trump Sees NASA’s COVID-19 Response Efforts First Hand

At the White House today, President Trump got a first hand account of how NASA is marshaling its expertise to help combat the coronavirus.  NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine brought along exhibits from his media teleconference yesterday to showcase how NASA engineers, working from home because of COVID-19, are aiding medical professionals with the development of a low cost ventilator, an oxygen hood, and a system to sterilize surfaces.

Bridenstine and representatives of the Armstrong Flight Research Center, Glenn Research Center, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory demonstrated how NASA is helping the nation respond to COVID-19 during a media teleconference yesterday.

Today, standing alongside the table in the Cabinet Room, Bridenstine and JPL’s David Gallagher, together with NASA Associate Administrator for Communications Bettina Inclán, explained how NASA engineers have quickly developed prototypes for oxygen hoods and low cost ventilators specifically to treat COVID-19 patients, and are improving an existing aerosol decontaminate to work in larger areas like school classrooms in addition to police cars and ambulances.

From left: NASA Associate Administrator for Communications Bettina Inclán, JPL Associate Director Dave Gallagher, President Trump, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.  In forefront, JPL’s ventilator (left) and a surface sterilization system (right) developed in part by NASA’s Glenn Research Center. Screengrab from C-SPAN video of White House event, April 24, 2020.
President Trump and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in the White House Cabinet Room April 24, 2020 discussing NASA’s efforts to develop products to fight COVID-19. The high pressure oxygen hood developed by Armstrong Flight Research Center, Virgin Galactic and others is on the right. Screengrab from C-SPAN.

C-SPAN videoed the event.

The oxygen hoods are being developed in partnership with Virgin Galactic, which, as Bridenstine mentioned, is a company primarily focused on sending people on suborbital tourist flights into space.  For a long moment, Trump seemed more interested in that, querying Bridenstine as to whether that was safe and if Bridenstine would make such a trip. Bridenstine enthusiastically responded yes, while Trump said he would pass.

Still, getting an opportunity to show the President how NASA is helping the fight against COVID-19 definitely is a plus.

User Comments has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the comments and to remove any materials it deems inappropriate.  We do not post comments that include links to other websites since we have no control over that content nor can we verify the security of such links.