GM and Ventec have a $489.4 million contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to deliver 6,132 ventilators to the Strategic National Stockpile by the end of June, with 30,000 shipped by the end of August.
Health providers across the United States and around the world desperately need more life-saving ventilators amid the COVID-19 pandemic. President Donald Trump in late March had HHS order the ventilators under the Korean War-era Defense Production Act, which prioritizes government orders in a time of war or national crisis. The government since then has inked a total nine ventilator contracts worth more than $2.5 billion under the law.
“GM has moved swiftly in Trump time to manufacture one of the most critical lifesaving devices in America’s war against the coronavirus,” Peter Navarro, the White House’s Defense Production Act policy coordinator, said in a GM news release.
The GM and Ventec effort involved sourcing hundreds of parts and assemblies from suppliers, designing a new manufacturing process, transforming GM’s Kokomo factory, the ongoing hiring of more than 1,000 plant workers, and implementing extensive health and safety workplace protocols.
The companies say they will ship more than 600 ventilators this month.