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Ford, GM, Tesla Given Green Light by Trump to Produce Medical Ventilators




President Trump has unleased the might and ingenuity of the American private sector.

The Trump administration has given the green light to automanufacturers including Ford, GM, and Tesla to join the fight against COVID-19 by producting medical ventilators.

As medical supplies run low across the nation and around the globe, ventilators will be needed to help save American lives.

Auto manufacturers were unable to join the fight because of federal regulations.

However, as the pandemic has worsened, the president has moved quickly to cut red tape and give power to the private sector.

The FDA announced on Sunday, March 22, that it has lowered certain barriers in the medical device approval process, which means that auto manufacturing plants can now help produce ventilators.

These ventilators help patients breathe, which is critically important since the virus is a respiratory disease.

See President Trump's announcement on Twitter:

President Trump recently signed the Defense Production Act, which gives permission to private companies to manufacture medical supplies.

This applies to auto factories.

A lack of medical supplies could overwhelm the medical system as much as the sheer number of patients needing services.

Thanks to the president's actions, medical supplies will be made quickly and delivered to the places that need them.

The Hill has more on this developing story:

President Trump announced Sunday his approval for Ford, General Motors and Tesla to produce desperately needed ventilators during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The president said in a tweet that the auto companies will be permitted to “make ventilators and other metal products, FAST!”

“Go for it auto execs, lets see how good you are?” he posted, tagging incoming White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

President Trump signed the Defense Production Act last week which permits the administration to draft the American industry into manufacturing needed medical supplies during a crisis. He said Friday he was putting the law "into gear" but it remained unclear to what extent he was using the order.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said last week that General Motors CEO Mary Barra offered to use the company’s factories to develop ventilators. Tech billionaire and founder of Tesla tweeted last week that the company will “make ventilators if there is a shortage.”

Private companies are already stepping up.

After a shortage of testing kids made testing a nationwide challenge, private companies created tests that are being delivered across the country.

A new test being delivered Monday can even provide results for COVID-19 in as little as 45 minutes.

The test has been approved by the FDA.

Now, the auto industry is stepping up to play its part.

As of this writing, there are 160,000 ventilators in the United States.

An additional 12,700 ventilators are stocked in the National Strategic Supply.

Though it's not clear how quickly automobile manufacturers can create the life-saving ventilators, they are already in the process of quickly partnering with medical companies like Ventec Life Systems to mass-produce the equipment.

USA Today has more details on the massive efforts underway:

Automakers are taking steps to help boost production of key medical equipment necessary to help combat the spread of the coronavirus.

General Motors and Tesla are devoting resources to help solve the nation's shortage of ventilators, which are critically needed to treat COVID-19. Ford Motor is also weighing plans to do so.

It was not immediately clear how quickly the automakers could ramp up production on ventilators.

President Donald Trump on Sunday hailed the companies, which have temporarily shut down American automotive capacity.

"Ford, General Motors and Tesla are being given the go ahead to make ventilators and other metal products, FAST!" he said on Twitter. "Go for it auto execs, lets see how good you are?"

The Food and Drug Administration said Sunday that it has reduced certain barriers in the medical device approval process to enable speedy production of ventilators, which are used to help patients breathe.

Automakers and other manufacturers will be able to "more easily repurpose production lines to help increase supply" due to the changes, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement.

Elon Musk, CEO of electric vehicle maker Tesla and rocket maker SpaceX, said last week that both of those companies are taking steps to help.

"We’re working on ventilators, even though I think there will not be a shortage by the time we can make enough to matter," he said.

GM said Friday that it's collaborating with Ventec Life Systems to help the company increase output of its respiratory care products, including by providing logistics, purchasing and manufacturing resources.

Ford confirmed that it has been in "preliminary discussions" with the U.S. and British governments about making medical equipment, including potentially ventilators.

While Democrats continue to criticize President Trump with words, the president is saving American lives with action.

Beginning on Monday, March 23, Joe Biden will be holding "shadow briefings" on the coronavirus.

Many see these briefings as simply an opportunity for Biden to criticize the president.

Meanwhile, Trump is taking practical steps to unleash the full power of the private and public sectors to fight what could be the greatest pandemic of our lifetime.


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