General Motor Co. has announced it will be working with a ventilator manufacturer to increase the production of medical devices needed for treating those with COVID-19.
GM said it will be working with Seattle-based Ventec Life Systems to increase the production of ventilators using GM’s “logistics, purchasing and manufacturing expertise,” GM said in a statement. The companies are working in conjunction with StopTheSpread.org, a coordinated private sector response to the coronavirus focused on connecting business leaders.
“With GM’s help, Ventec will increase ventilator production,” said Chris Kiple, Ventec Life Systems CEO, in a statement. “By tapping their expertise, GM is enabling us to get more ventilators to more hospitals much faster. This partnership will help save lives.”
The move follows President Trump enacting the Defense Production Act on Wednesday, allowing the federal government to force American companies to manufacture under-stocked medical supplies.
Trump hinted that an automaker would be making ventilators during a White House briefing, The Detroit News reports.
“I can’t say they are, but they will be very shortly,” Trump said. “They will be very shortly. Because we are working with one in particular that wants to make ventilators. They called us yesterday, and they already were working on a transaction. They say they’ve done it before, but they can do it easily.”
Trump later confirmed the manufacturer was GM. The company had suspended its normal production on Wednesday.
“We are working closely with Ventec to rapidly scale up production of their critically important respiratory products to support our country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mary Barra, GM Chairman and CEO, in a statement. “We will continue to explore ways to help in this time of crisis.”
As of Saturday afternoon, there are currently more than 15,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus reaching across all 50 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The death toll currently sits at 201.
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