Trump spars with GM –
Trump invokes Defense Production Act after saying GM demanded too much money.
Trump just yesterday was downplaying the need for ventilators,
telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity , “I don’t believe you need 0327, or 90, ventilators. into major hospitals sometimes, and they’ll have two ventilators. And now, all of a sudden, they’re saying, ‘Can we order , 06 ventilators? ” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called Trump’s statement “ignorant.” “So the point is, ‘well they’re in a stockpile, you must not need them’ is just ignorant— of course you don’t need them today, “ Cuomo told CNN . “You need them when you hit the apex, which is , . We’re not there yet. ” White House objected to $ 1 billion cost
The White House this week had been preparing to announce a GM / Ventec joint venture “that would allow for the production of as many as , desperately needed ventilators, “but the Trump administration had” second thoughts “because of the cost, The New York Times reported . The Times wrote: The decision to cancel the announcement, government officials say, came after the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it needed more time to assess whether the estimated cost was prohibitive. That price tag was more than $ 1 billion, with several hundred million dollars to be paid upfront to General Motors to retool a car parts plant in Kokomo, Ind., Where the ventilators would be made with Ventec’s technology.
Earlier today, Trump used his Twitter account
to accuse GM of demanding too much money for ventilators, saying the company ” want [s] top dollar. ” He also told GM to “START MAKING VENTILATORS, NOW !!!!!!” We asked GM how many ventilators it will make as a result of Trump’s order today but did not get an answer. GM instead provided us with a general statement about its partnership with Ventec, saying the companies “have been working around the clock for weeks to meet this urgent need,” and that GM’s “commitment to build Ventec’s high-quality critical care ventilator, (VOCSN) , has never wavered. ”
“We are focused on executing our plan,” GM said.
Both GM and Ford were already starting to make ventilators . Trump hadn’t previously used the Defense Production Act to made demands of GM, but the Food and Drug Administration issued new guidanceon Sunday that loosens the agency’s strict oversight of ventilator technology, making it easier to quickly build ventilators for the coronavirus pandemic.
The US on Thursday surpassed China as the country with the largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases. The Trump administration has, as we yesterday , sent conflicting signals about the seriousness the pandemic and taken too long to (implement a coherent plan for fighting the coronavirus.