The Trump administration will pay General Motors $489 million to manufacture 30,000 ventilators, the Department of Health and Human Services announced on Wednesday.
GM, of course, is a car company, not a supplier of medical equipment. Rather than designing a ventilator from scratch, GM will be using a design borrowed from Ventec Life Systems. GM and Ventec announced a partnership to work on ventilators more than two weeks ago.
"GM is proud to deploy its purchasing and manufacturing capability alongside the respiratory care expertise of Ventec," GM said in a press statement.
GM didn't have much choice. Two weeks ago, Trump invoked the Defense Production Act and ordered GM to begin producing ventilators, claiming that GM was "wasting time" during voluntary contract negotiations. The government also says that the use of the DPA will help GM "get the supplies they need to produce ventilators as quickly as possible."
GM is scheduled to deliver 6,132 of the ventilators by the end of May, with the rest being delivered in June, July, and August. An important question is whether these ventilators will arrive by the peak of US COVID-19 cases—and hence the period of highest need. No one knows for sure when this will happen, and projections vary. Read More – Source