United States President Donald Trump has commissioned vehicle manufacturer General Motors to produce much-needed ventilators to be supplied to hospitals nationwide amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ventilators are a big deal and we’ve delivered thousands of them. We have to produce large numbers,” Trump said at the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing on March 27. “We will not hesitate to use full authority of the federal government to combat this crisis.”
Using the Korean War-era Defense Production Act, the president is allowed to order companies to make products for the national defense.
President Donald Trump has accused GM of “wasting time” in producing ventilators and has said that both GM and Ford need to ramp up work at their manufacturing facilities.
“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.” Trump tweeted.
The ventilator is a critical item in treating COVID-19 patients with advanced symptoms as the disease is a respiratory illness which causes strain to the lungs.
According to GM on March 27, the company can produce at least 10,000 ventilators per month starting in April.
Largest bailout in US history
Trump has signed a coronavirus rescue bailout worth $2.2 trillion dollars into law. The bailout is the largest emergency aid package in American history.
“This will deliver urgently needed relief to our nation’s families, workers and businesses and that’s what this is all about,” Trump said.
The bill includes direct checks, worth $500 billion dollars, that will be sent to American families, $500 billion dollars in small business loans, $150 billion dollars to fund hospitals and $150 billion dollars in relief funds for state and local governments.
Trump also thanked Republicans and Democrats for coming together and putting their differences aside in the bipartisan fight against the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The stimulus package was passed by the House of Representatives on March 27 after overcoming an issue in which members of Congress were required to vote in person, in what’s known as a “full roll call vote.”
US reports more than 104,000 COVID-19 cases
The US has reported 104,205 COVID-19 cases and 1,701 deaths as of March 27, with the bulk of the cases coming from New York state.
New York has seen 46,635 COVID-19 cases and 519 deaths.
Have a tip or story? Get in touch with our reporters here!