GM to start making coronavirus ventilators under $490M federal contract

GM will make 30,000 ventilators for the Strategic National Stockpile by the end of August

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Automaker General Motors is set to start making ventilators under a $490 million federal contract on Monday, according to USA Today.

GM will make 30,000 ventilators for the Strategic National Stockpile by the end of August because President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act in March after criticizing the automaker's efforts.

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The contract with the Department of Health and Human Services also requires GM to deliver 6,132 ventilators by June.

"Invoking the Defense Production Act to secure ventilator production from GM and other companies is a part of President Trump’s all-of-America approach to combating the coronavirus," HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement Wednesday. "By rating contracts under the DPA, HHS is helping manufacturers like GM get the supplies they need to produce ventilators as quickly as possible, while also ensuring that these ventilators are routed through the Strategic National Stockpile to where they’re needed most."

A ventilator. (Photo by AXEL HEIMKEN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Trump signed an executive order invoking the Defense Production Act in March and faced criticism for waiting to use the act to force companies to make supplies as states clamored for ventilators and the national stockpile diminished.

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GMGENERAL MOTORS COMPANY29.34-0.10-0.34%

GM is making face masks too. It switched from prototyping to production last week in its quest to deliver 20,000 masks for health care workers combating the coronavirus pandemic this week.

"We remain dedicated to working with the Administration to ensure American innovation and manufacturing meet the needs of the country during this global pandemic," GM said in a statement Wednesday.

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