Trump Invokes Defense Production Act to Force GM to Make Ventilators Quicker

March 27, 2020 Updated: March 27, 2020

President Donald Trump has authorized the use of the Defense Production Act to compel General Motors to move faster on a government contract to produce ventilators that help patients with acute symptoms of the CCP virus to breathe. GM said it’s been working “around the clock.”

The CCP virus, also known as the novel coronavirus, infected over 100,000 in the United States and killed 1,544 by March 27, according to data on confirmed cases. The Epoch Times calls it the CCP virus as it was allowed to spread around the world due to the coverup and mismanagement by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

“Today, I signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to use any and all authority available under the Defense Production Act to require General Motors to accept, perform, and prioritize Federal contracts for ventilators,” Trump said in a March 27 statement. “Our negotiations with GM regarding its ability to supply ventilators have 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. GM was wasting time. Today’s action will help ensure the quick production of ventilators that will save American lives.”

GM has partnered with Ventec Life Systems, a manufacturer of the ventilators, to expand the production capacity for the devices.

Earlier on March 27, the companies announced that Ventec’s VOCSN devices, which combine the ventilator with several other medical devices, will be manufactured at GM’s plant in Kokomo, Indiana.

The devices from the new production site were “scheduled to ship as soon as next month” while Ventec was “taking aggressive steps to ramp up production at their manufacturing facility in Bothell, Washington,” the companies said.

“Ventec, GM and our supply base have been working around the clock for weeks to meet this urgent need,” GM stated in an emailed response to Trump’s announcement. “Our commitment to build Ventec’s high-quality critical care ventilator, VOCSN, has never wavered.”

In the late morning of March 27, Trump fired out a tweet criticizing the company’s leadership, specifically the chief executive, Mary Barra.

“As usual with ‘this’ General Motors, things just never seem to work out,” he said. “They said they were going to give us 40,000 much needed Ventilators, ‘very quickly’. Now they are saying it will only be 6,000, in late April, and they want top dollar. Always a mess with Mary B. Invoke ‘P’.”

In one of the subsequent tweets, he clarified that “P” meant the Defense Production Act.

He also urged the company to reopen its “stupidly abandoned” plant in Lordstown, Ohio, or use another site “and START MAKING VENTILATORS, NOW!!!!!!”

“FORD, GET GOING ON VENTILATORS, FAST!!!!!!” he followed.

Several minutes later, he wrote on Twitter:

“We have just purchased many Ventilators from some wonderful companies. Names and numbers will be announced later today!”

Following Trump’s tweets, Ford said it was moving as fast as it could to gear up its ventilator manufacturing efforts and was in “active conversations” with the Trump administration in seeking approvals. The company said it has “teams working flat-out with GE Healthcare to boost production of simplified ventilators.”

The effort to quickly mass-produce the ventilators, as well as other supplies like protective masks, has been joined by hundreds of companies.

The ventilators have been cited by authorities as a bottleneck in the effort to manage the epidemic. Not every patient requires hospitalization, but many of those who do end up with acute breathing difficulties require being put on a ventilator.

New York state, where the outbreak has been the most severe, will require tens of thousands of ventilators, Governor Andrew Cuomo said. So far, the state has several thousand hospitalizations related to the virus.

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