The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China before it was transmitted worldwide. The virus has infected over 100,000 in the United States and killed 1,693 by late March 27, according to data on confirmed cases.
“We’re going to make a lot of ventilators,” Trump said, pledging to take care of U.S. needs while also helping other countries.
“In the next 100 days, we’ll—first of all, we’ve already delivered thousands of them—but within the next 100 days, we will either make or get in some form over 100,000 additional units,” the president said at a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing. “In the next 100 days, we’ll receive over three times the number of ventilators made during a regular year in the United States. And that doesn’t include all of the thousands and thousands that we’ve given to the various states, a lot of them.”
One reporter asked, “Mr. President, last night you told Sean Hannity you didn’t think that there was a need for 30 or 40,000 ventilators, yet today you basically federalized General Motors to produce tens of thousands.”
“I think there’s a very good chance we won’t need that many,” Trump responded. “And I think, frankly, there’s a great chance that we’re not going to need that many.”
“But you know what? There are a lot of other people that are going to need them. We have countries all over the world that are friends of ours, and we will help those countries. We are in a position to do things that other countries can’t. So we have sort of an interesting position,” the president added.
“We can make them, because we’re going to be making over 100,000 pretty quickly. So we can make them,” Trump continued. “And if we don’t need them, that’s OK, because we can help Italy and we can help the UK. Boris Johnson, specifically, I mean, when I say, ‘How you feeling?’ And the first thing Boris said to me is, ‘We need ventilators.'”
Trump on Friday authorized the use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to compel General Motors (GM) to move faster on a government contract to produce ventilators that help patients with acute symptoms of the CCP virus to breathe.
“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.”
Trump named White House aide Peter Navarro as the National DPA Policy Coordinator for the federal government, and called Navarro’s position “a very important position, more important probably than it’s almost ever been in our country.”
GM said it’s been working “around the clock.”
New York state, where the outbreak has been the most severe, will require tens of thousands of ventilators, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. So far, the state has several thousand hospitalizations related to the CCP virus.
White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Debbie Birx said on Thursday that at the time there was no shortage of intensive care unit beds or ventilators in New York.
“We are reassured in meeting with our colleagues in New York that there are still ICU [intensive care unit] beds remaining and there are still significant—over a thousand or two thousand—ventilators that have not been utilized yet,” she said.
Trump on Friday signed the largest emergency relief bill in U.S. history. The $2.2 trillion emergency relief package seeks to help Americans and sustain the hard-hit economy as the nation takes drastic measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Petr Svab contributed to this report.