Trump stated on his Twitter account, where he has challenged auto executives to continue the production of ventilators. It is because there has been a significant shortage of ventilators due to the COVID-19 outbreak. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, and ventilators are essential medical equipment that will help in recovering the patients.
The main symptom of Coronavirus is that it attacks the lungs and causes difficulty in breathing, such as acute respiratory disease followed with pneumonia. The ventilators help in breathing for the affected patients. Currently, the US government has over 160,000 ventilators, and 12,700 ventilators with the National Strategic. These figures were reported to the NYT.
In his tweet yesterday, Trump stated, “Ford, General Motors and Tesla are being given the go-ahead to make ventilators and other metal products, FAST! Go for it auto execs. Let’s see how good you are?”.
The tweet came after NY Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a plea to the federal government. In his plea, the governor stated to nationalize the production and acquisition of medical supply and not to leave it to individual states. Andrew Cuomo, along with several officials, was the first to call out to Trump and request him to ask companies to start the production of medical supplies. It falls under the Defense Production Act. This act gives the federal government the right to compel private companies to start production of materials that may be required for national security and defense.
According to Andrew Cuomo, because of no nationalization in the production and acquisition of medical supplies, states are competing against each other for it. The outcome being the rising price of medical equipment and supplies. It has caused a lot of pressure on the health care system.
News reports suggest that Trump has issued an executive order which invokes the law, but it has not become clear yet whether the Defense Production Act has been used. In his last week’s press conference, President Trump said that he had used the law. Still, the statement provided by the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Peter Gaynor, conflicted with Trump’s. As he said, that Trump has not issued any order for the private companies to start production of more critical medical supplies.
Andrew Cuomo, on his tweet on Sunday, said, “I’m calling on the Federal Government to nationalize the medical supply chain. The Federal Government should immediately use the Defense Production Act to order companies to make gowns, masks and gloves. Currently, states are competing against other states for supplies.”
Private automaker companies have already started working on various feasibility models to start the production of Ventilators. GM has partnered up with the Ventec Life Systems, under a coordinated effort stopthespread.org by various private companies. The organization is working on increasing the production of ventilators needed by the increasing number of hospitals coming up due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The companies hope to have all the supplies needed to stop the spread and contain it within a stipulated time.
A spokesperson of Ford Rachel McCleery stated to TechCrunch, “We have had preliminary discussions with the US and UK governments and are looking into the feasibility. We all must pull together to help the country weather this crisis and come out the other side stronger than ever.” Ford also said in his email to TechCrunch that they are ready to aid and abuse the US government in the production of more ventilators and medical equipment.Source
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, on a tweet on Saturday, said that he has been in touch with Medtronic related to the production of more ventilators, and has so far been impressed by their ideas. In a later tweet, Medtronic confirmed the news. Before this, Tesla had already released a statement that they will be working on ventilators, but no further details were provided.