Donald Trump has reportedly not formally ordered ventilators from GM, for hospitals treating coronavirus patients, despite tweeting a plea for them. On March 27, Trump tweeted that the company should open a plant and start working on it, while also invoking powers that allowed him to require the company to do so.
However, USA Today reports that his administration has yet to actually place an order for the ventilators. The outlet noted that three administration officials — who all spoke anonymously — stated that no order has been placed using the Defense Production Act due to other options still being explored. A spokesperson for The Federal Emergency Management Agency — who also asked not to be named — added "continues to work within its authorities to coordinate with the private sector." General Motors reportedly declined to answer any questions about the situation, but said in a statement that it was "moving forward to build as many ventilators as we can as fast as we can."
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— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 27, 2020
Trump's GM tweet garnered a lot of replies, with one user hitting back by saying, "Abraham Lincoln used his executive power to make the automakers do what he said during the Civil War. Seems like you’re scared to do the same. And this is coming from a youth football coaching legend, not some random clown."0comments
"We should have been planning this and putting in all medical orders beginning of February, not mid-March. Donald Trump and this administration botched response beyond travel restriction from beginning. Testing and social distancing were two months late to make major impact," someone else said.
Expecting huge corporations out of the goodness of their own hearts to mass produce ventilators is beyond naive. Sure, they’ll make masks and hand sanitizers which are cheap PR but making ventilators is very resource heavy and they won’t do it unless they are legally compelled.— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) March 27, 2020
"Why is Trump begging GM to make ventilators instead of using Defense Production Act to ORDER them to make them? Simple as NY Times reported the Chamber of Commerce and other corporate lobbyists convinced Trump to not do that bc bad for corporations. People don't matter to Trump," one other user went on to add.