Trump invokes Defense Production Act

FAN Editor

President Trump exercised his authority under the Defense Production Act to require General Motors to “act, perform, and prioritize contracts or orders for the number of ventilators” deemed necessary by the health and human services secretary amid the coronavirus pandemic. The move marks the first time the president has substantively exercised his authority under the law to encourage the production of much-needed medical equipment.

Health care workers, particularly those in New York, are already reporting a serious shortage of ventilators, and Democrats and Republicans alike have been urging the president to use his authority to ramp up the production of ventilators, masks, respirators and other needed equipment and supplies. The Defense Production Act authorizes the president to require companies to sign contracts or fill orders for products needed for the nation’s defense. It’s unclear how many ventilators HHS Secretary Alex Azar will determine necessary. 

In issuing his executive order directing GM to prioritize the production of ventilators, Mr. Trump accused GM of “wasting” time. For the most part, the president has been relying on the private sector to voluntarily boost production of needed equipment. 

Trending News ›

“Today, I signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to use any and all authority available under the Defense Production Act to require General Motors to accept, perform, and prioritize federal contracts for ventilators,” the president said in a statement. “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. GM was wasting time. Today’s action will help ensure the quick production of ventilators that will save American lives.”

Earlier Friday, Mr. Trump expressed on Twitter that he was losing his patience with GM.

“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!!!!!! @GeneralMotors@Ford” the president tweeted. 

GM insisted in a statement Friday they have been “working around the clock.” 

“Ventec, GM and our supply base have been working around the clock for over a week to meet this urgent need. Our commitment to build Ventec’s high-quality critical care ventilator, VOCSN, has never wavered,” GM said. “The partnership between Ventec and GM combines global expertise in manufacturing quality and a joint commitment to safety to give medical professionals and patients access to life-saving technology as rapidly as possible. The entire GM team is proud to support this initiative.”

On Thursday night, Mr. Trump claimed states don’t need need 30,000 or 40,000 ventilators, apparently a response to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s request for 30,000 ventilators. Cuomo, other governors and health care workers have been sounding the alarm about a ventilator shortage. 

“I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they’re going to need,” Mr. Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators. You know, you go to major hospitals, sometimes they have two ventilators. Now all of a sudden they’re saying can we order 30,000 ventilators.

Free America Network Articles

Leave a Reply

Next Post

Trump signs $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill as the US tries to prevent economic devastation

President Donald Trump signed a $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill on Friday, as Washington tries to blunt economic destruction from the pandemic ripping through the United States.  The House earlier passed the stimulus package, believed to be the largest in U.S. history, by voice vote, which simply measures if more lawmakers shout […]

You May Like