United States President Donald Trump has issued an order that seeks to force General Motors to produce ventilators for coronavirus patients under the Defense Production Act.
United States President Donald Trump said negotiations with General Motors had been productive, “but our fight against the virus is too urgent to allow the give-and-take of the contracting process to continue to run its normal course.”
Trump said “GM was wasting time” and said his actions will help ensure the quick production of ventilators that will save American lives.
Previously Trump has been reluctant to use the act to force businesses to contribute to the coronavirus fight, and it wasn’t clear what triggered his order against GM.
The Detroit automaker is farthest along in the effort to make more of the critical breathing machines. It’s working with Ventec Life Systems, a small Seattle-area ventilator maker to increase the company’s production and repurpose a GM auto electronics plant in Kokomo, Indiana, to make the machines. The company said Friday it could build 10,000 ventilators per month starting in April with potential to make even more.
After Trump invoked the act, GM said in a statement that it has been working around the clock for more than a week with Ventec and parts suppliers to build more ventilators. The company said its commitment to build Ventec’s ventilators “has never wavered.”
It should be noted that United Nations UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced the donation of the 250,000 masks, which had just been located in United Nations storage facilities, to the United States for use in hard-hit New York City.
The city’s Mayor Bill De Blasio hailed the UN for “answering the call” for the city where the insitution’s headquarters are located.
Guterres said in statement the United Nations and the US Mission to the UN were working with de Blasio’s office to ensure swift delivery of the masks to medical facilities around New York.