General Motors will
The goal is to eventually make 10,000 ventilators per month, according to GM and Ventec, but the companies didn’t say how long it would take to reach that output. Chris Brooks, the chief strategy officer for Ventec, told The Verge late Friday that the two companies expect to make “hundreds” next month in Kokomo.
GM will also start making surgical masks, a critical component for health care workers, at its idled factory in Warren, Michigan, next week. The automaker plans to make 50,000 masks per day within two weeks, with a possible total output of 100,000 per day.
The automaker joins a large collective effort from corporations around the country to produce resources that the federal government is failing to provide to the parts of the country that have been hit worst by the pandemic. Tesla is
GM and Ventec’s announcement came about an hour after President Trump
That Lordstown factory now belongs to a
Trump’s rage-tweets about GM came mere hours after The New York Times
“As usual with ‘this’ General Motors, things just never seem to work out,” Trump
“P,” Trump clarified in a later tweet, referred to the Korean War-era Defense Production Act. Trump has spent weeks talking about relying on the Defense Production Act to alleviate shortages of critical equipment like ventilators and surgical masks. But he had refused to actually use it before Friday, despite repeated requests from people like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to do so.
Trump even went so far as to claim on Fox News that the tens of thousands of ventilators that Cuomo has asked for won’t be necessary. “I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they’re going to be,” he
This scattered messaging, along with a
Hours after GM and Ventec’s announcement on Friday, though, Trump announced he was directing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to invoke the Defense Production Act to force the automaker to “accept, perform, and prioritize contracts or orders for the number of ventilators that the Secretary determines to be appropriate.”
Trump said he felt he had to use the Defense Production Act because he said General Motors was asking for too much money to make the ventilators, and because he said he was unhappy with the revised production estimate. Ventec said Friday that it still had not received any official communications from the administration about what the Defense Production Act will mean for the joint effort with GM, and pushed back on Trump’s claim about the two companies revising down production goals, saying it has not received a clear number from the federal government of how many ventilators are needed.
Regardless, Brooks said Ventec and GM are moving forward. “You have two companies that have been acting in good faith, prior to the White House being involved, to create as many ventilators as possible to arm frontline health workers to save lives,” he said. “This is an issue bigger than Ventec, bigger than GM, and frankly, bigger than the United States.”
Update March 27th, 7:25PM ET: Added new information from Ventec, and information about the Defense Production Act.