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Trump touts automakers for ventilator production: Let's 'see how good you are'

Evie Fordham

President Trump touted private companies Ford, General Motors and Tesla for agreeing to manufacture ventilators and "other medical products" as hospitals scramble to ensure they have supplies for the growing coronavirus crisis.

"Ford, General Motors and Tesla are being given the go ahead to make ventilators and other metal products, FAST! @fema Go for it auto execs, lets see how good you are?" the president wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

Trump also thanked delivery company FedEx for carrying out "rapid emergency deliveries."

Vice President Mike Pence, leader of the White House coronavirus task force, said on Saturday that Health and Human Services had ordered "hundreds of millions of N-95 masks that will be made available to health care providers across the country."

The masks will be allocated through FEMA.

WHAT IS 'HERD IMMUNITY' FOR CORONAVIRUS, AND SHOULD THE US BE USING IT?

Trump invoked the Defense Production Act last week, but FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor told "Meet the Press" on Sunday they have not had to use it and companies have volunteered.

"Will we have to use it? Maybe. ... We are working to source from all different kinds of manufacturing. ... Will we ever have enough? I'm not sure," Gaynor said. "We'll triage as we go."

GM, Ventec Life Systems and StopTheSpread.org, a coordinated private-sector response to COVID-19, are collaborating so that Ventec can increase its production of respiratory care products as hospitals across the U.S. face a potential ventilator shortage.

"We are working closely with Ventec to rapidly scale up production of their critically important respiratory products to support our country's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic," GM CEO Mary Barra said in a statement on Friday. "We will continue to explore ways to help in this time of crisis."

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