Coronavirus prompts GM to make 30,000 ventilators under $490M Defense Production Act contract

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General Motors will make 30,000 ventilators for the Strategic National Stockpile by the end of August after President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act in March after criticizing the automaker's efforts.

The contract with the Department of Health and Human Services is worth $489.4 million and also requires GM to deliver 6,132 ventilators by June.


"Invoking the Defense Production Act to secure ventilator production from GM and other companies is a part of President Trump’s all-of-America approach to combating the coronavirus," HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement Wednesday. "By rating contracts under the DPA, HHS is helping manufacturers like GM get the supplies they need to produce ventilators as quickly as possible, while also ensuring that these ventilators are routed through the Strategic National Stockpile to where they’re needed most."

Trump signed an executive order invoking the Defense Production Act in March and faced criticism for waiting to use the act to force companies to make supplies as states clamored for ventilators and the national stockpile diminished.

President Donald Trump listens as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Thursday, April 2, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Mary Teresa Barra, chairwoman and CEO of General Motors, attends the unveiling of its redesigned mid-engine C8 Corvette, the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, in Tustin, Calif., July 18, 2019. (REUTERS/Mike Blake)

"We have 8,675 five ventilators right now in stock, ready to move," Trump said at Tuesday's White House coronavirus briefing.

GM is making face masks too. It switched from the prototyping to production on Monday in its quest to deliver 20,000 masks for health care workers combating the coronavirus pandemic this week.

"We remain dedicated to working with the Administration to ensure American innovation and manufacturing meet the needs of the country during this global pandemic," GM said in a statement Wednesday.

The administration is also using the Defense Production Act to get 3M to produce face masks.


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