The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today that it awarded a new $336 million contract to General Electric (NYSE:GE), in partnership with Ford, for ventilator production under the Defense Production Act.
Under the contract, GE and Ford are slated to produce 50,000 ventilators by July 13, following President Donald Trump’s April 2 direction to HHS secretary Alex Azar to invoke the DPA, according to an HHS news release.
Earlier this month, HHS awarded GE $64.1 million for the company to make 2,410 ventilators by June 29 — 112 by May 4 and 736 by June 1. GE entered into a partnership with Ford at the end of last month, with the latter announcing that it would start producing 50,000 ventilators in 100 days at its Michigan plant, and 30,000 a month thereafter as needed.
HHS has now finalized contracts to produce or acquire more than 41,000 ventilators by the end of May, with more than 187,000 ventilators expected by the end of the year.
“HHS’s use of the DPA at the direction of President Trump is helping get critical materials into the hands of American companies like GE to initiate and scale up ventilator production,” Azar said in the release. “These companies and their incredibly dedicated workers will ensure that our country can provide our hospitals and healthcare providers with the ventilators needed to sustain and save lives during this pandemic.
“The thousands of ventilators delivered to the Strategic National Stockpile starting this month, continuing through the spring and summer, will mean we have more capacity to respond to the pandemic as it evolves.”