Trump issues order to require GM to produce ventilators

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WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump has issued an order that the government can use to require General Motors to produce ventilators under Defense Production Act.

Trump signed the order Friday in the Oval Office as health professionals around the country lamented shortages of the machines that help patients with the coronavirus breathe.

In a joint statement, GM and Ventec Life Systems said they will build critical care ventilators at GM’s manufacturing plant in Kokomo, Indiana, and start shipping them as soon as next month. GM also is to produce surgical masks at its plant in Warren, Michigan, that can be used by health care workers.

In a statement, the White House accused GM of wasting time in the contracting process.

“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,” the statement said.