General Motors and Washington-based Ventec Life Systems announced that efforts to begin production of critical-care ventilators are “already underway” and that GM is donating its resources at cost after President Donald Trump criticized the company and its officials for wanting “top dollar” for the said ventilators.
“Ventec Life Systems announced today General Motors would 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,” GM said in a release.
“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 donating its resources at cost.”
GM also said that they would also begin manufacturing FDA-cleared Level 1 surgical masks at its Warren, Michigan manufacturing facility. The statement from the company said that production would 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.
In a tweet, Trump criticized the company and CEO Mary Barra for failing to move quicker in producing the much-needed ventilators as they want more money for it. In a tweet, Trump said that “they want top dollar” before the automaker agrees to the deal.
“As usual with “this” General Motors, things just never seem to work out. They said they were going to give us 40,000 much-needed Ventilators, “very quickly.” Now they are saying it will only be 6000, in late April, and they want top dollar. Always a mess with Mary B. Invoke P,” the Tweet reads.
In another tweet, Trump clarified that with “Invoke P,” he meant that he is willing to invoke the Defense Production Act to compel GM and Ventec to produce the ventilators.
Shortly after Trump’s tirades, CEO Mary Barry said in a release that GM is already working together with its partner, Ventec, to addres “urgent and life-saving needs.”
“We are proud to stand with other American companies and our skilled employees to meet the needs of this global pandemic,” said Barra. “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.”