Trump Unloads On General Motors For Wasting Time, Enacts Defense Production Act
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On Friday, President Donald Trump unloaded on General Motors for "wasting time" during negotiations on producing ventilators to combat the coronavirus. Not much later, the President utilized the Defense Production Act, forcing GM to produce the ventilators.
Earlier in the day on Friday, President Trump hammered GM, tweeting, “General Motors MUST immediately open their stupidly abandoned Lordstown plant in Ohio, or some other plant, and START MAKING VENTILATORS, NOW!!!!!! FORD, GET GOING ON VENTILATORS, FAST!!!!!! @GeneralMotors @Ford”
The President clearly had enough considering not much later on, he utilized the Defense Production Act.
“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,” President Trump said in a 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,” the President added. “Today’s action will help ensure the quick production of ventilators that will save American lives.”
Shortly after the statement, General Motors released a statement of their own:
Ventec Life Systems announced today General Motors will build VOCSN critical care ventilators at GM’s Kokomo, Indiana manufacturing facility with FDA-cleared ventilators scheduled to ship as soon as next month. This effort is in addition to Ventec taking aggressive steps to ramp up production at their manufacturing facility in Bothell, Washington.
Across all manufacturers, there is a global backorder of critical care ventilators capable of supporting patients fighting COVID-19. The companies are adding thousands of units of new capacity with a significantly expanded supply chain capable of supporting high volume production. GM is contributing its resources at cost.
GM will also begin manufacturing FDA-cleared Level 1 surgical masks at its Warren, Michigan manufacturing facility. Production will begin next week and within two weeks ramp up to 50,000 masks per day, with the potential to increase to 100,000 per day.
Ventec and GM are working around the clock to meet the urgent need for more ventilators. Efforts to set up tooling and manufacturing capacity at the GM Kokomo facility are already underway to produce Ventec’s critical care ventilator, VOCSN. Depending on the needs of the federal government, Ventec and GM are poised to deliver the first ventilators next month and ramp up to a manufacturing capacity of more than 10,000 critical care ventilators per month with the infrastructure and capability to scale further.
“This unique partnership combines Ventec’s respiratory care expertise with GM’s manufacturing might to produce sophisticated and high-quality critical care ventilators,” said Chris Kiple, CEO of Ventec Life Systems. “This pandemic is unprecedented and so is this response, with incredible support from GM and their suppliers. Healthcare professionals on the front lines deserve the best tools to treat patients and precision critical care ventilators like VOCSN are what is necessary to save lives.”
“We are proud to stand with other American companies and our skilled employees to meet the needs of this global pandemic,” CEO Mary Barra said in the statement. “This partnership has rallied the GM enterprise and our global supply base to support Ventec, and the teams are working together with incredible passion and commitment. I am proud of this partnership as we work together to address urgent and life-saving needs.”
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