“If someone could devise a cheap...”
I did try to a devise cheap emergency respirator system once. I had good opinions about the devise from doctors and medical providers. The army even said nice things about it but their developement funds were allocated elsewhere. I stopped developement due to my costs.
Medical devises developement costs are not as bad as drugs but it’s still a cost versus return process.
I do wish you had continued. American hospitals work on a push supply system, and in total I believe that of about 102,000 respirators in the US, 100,000 are needed and used during a typical flu season. A surplus of just 2,000 units would cost many lives in just a “bad” flu season.
In a killer flu epidemic, with tens or hundreds of thousands of Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) cases caused by cytokine storm, it would be a huge disaster.
H5N1 still maintains its 60% mortality rate with treatment. Without respirators, I have no guess how high that figure would be.
Even that H1N1 epidemic that turned vicious in Ukraine had many of their doctors convinced it could not be influenza, because on autopsy the lungs looked burned black. They had never seen anything like it. But those were just the fatalities. In the future I imagine Ukraine will be tormented by lung disease from the lungs damaged by the epidemic.
America desperately needs at least the plans to quickly fabricate tens of thousands of respirators.