President Trump on Friday invoked the Defense Production Act to order ventilators from General Motors needed to treat coronavirus patients, after initially declining to do so.
“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” Trump said in a statement. “GM was wasting time.”
Trump had criticized GM and Ford earlier on Friday, accusing the automakers of failing to meet demand for ventilators.
“[GM] 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,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “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!!!!!!”
For its part, GM was waiting for the federal government to communicate details regarding contracts, Bloomberg reported.
“We are proud to stand with other American companies and our skilled employees to meet the needs of this global pandemic,” GM CEO Mary Barra said in a statement on Friday before Trump invoked the Defense Production Act. “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.”