General Motors will help make desperately-needed ventilators.
On Friday, the automaker said it was working with Seattle-based Ventec Life Systems.
“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,” GM CEO Mary 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.”
As the number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases rapidly increases in the US, and New York state, California, and Illinois issue shelter-in-place directives, ventilators could soon be in short supply for the most severer cases of illness.
“With GM’s help, Ventec will increase ventilator production,” Ventec Life Systems CEO Chris Kiple said in a statement. “By tapping their expertise, GM is enabling us to get more ventilators to more hospitals much faster. This partnership will help save lives.”
StopTheSpread.org, “the nation’s coordinated private sector response to COVID-19,” according to the statement, helped organize the partnership.
President Donald Trump has indicated on several occasions that GM could switch from making cars to making ventilators, and on Friday a source with knowledge of the planning at the company said that it was working with another firm to expedite the process.
As the coronavirus outbreak and intensified in the US, with thousands of new cases being diagnosed each day and the death toll rising, the healthcare system has raised alarms about the scarcity of ventilators, which can assist the most severely sick patients in breathing.
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