- President Donald Trump attacked General Motors on Twitter over a reportedly failed deal to buy much needed ventilators amid the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
- He also demanded that Ford produce ventilators, which could be in short supply as hospitals are deluged with patients.
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President Donald Trump attacked General Motors in several tweets on Friday after a possible deal to buy ventilators reportedly collapsed.
The New York Times had earlier reported details of the deal.
"As usual with 'this' General Motors, things just never seem to work out," Trump tweeted . "They said they were going to give us 40,000 much needed Ventilators, 'very quickly'. Now they are saying it will only be 6000, in late April, and they want top dollar. Always a mess with Mary B. Invoke 'P'."
Trump later tweeted that the "P' referred to the Defense Production Act, a Korean War-era legislation that enables the executive to direct industries to manufacture essentials at times of national crisis. Trump has resisted called from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to invoke the act.
Trump's reference to "'this' General Motors" in his tweet describes the post-bankruptcy GM, which Mary Barra has run as CEO since 2014.
As usual with "this" General Motors, things just never seem to work out. They said they were going to give us 40,000 much needed Ventilators, "very quickly". Now they are saying it will only be 6000, in late April, and they want top dollar. Always a mess with Mary B. Invoke "P". Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 27, 2020
This week, GM announced that it was working with ventilator-maker Ventec Life Systems to produce the machines.
"We are working closely with Ventec to rapidly scale up production of their critically important respiratory products to support our country's fight again the COVID-19 pandemic, Barra said in a statement. "We will continue to explore ways to help in this time of crisis."
The statement added, "Ventec will leverage GM's logistics, purchasing and manufacturing expertise to build more of their critically important ventilators."
Trump the tweeted, "General Motors MUST immediately open their stupidly abandoned Lordstown plant in Ohio, or some other plant, and START MAKING VENTILATORS, NOW!!!!!! FORD, GET GOING ON VENTILATORS, FAST!!!!!!"
The Lordstown plant was idled by GM in 2019 and sold to Lordstown Motors, an electric-vehicle company.
Ford also announced this week that it was working with GE Healthcare to "expand production of a simplified version of GE Healthcare's existing ventilator design to support patients with respiratory failure or difficulty breathing."
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