Ford, GE to make 50,000 ventilators in 100 days

Major automaker Ford said Monday (March 30) they're teaming up with General Electric to make 50,000 ventilators over the next 100 days.

The companies say after that, they can build 30,000 per month to treat COVID-19 patients.

States like New York, which has been especially hard hit by the pandemic, and where hospitals are already using one ventilator for two patients, have pleaded with the Trump administration and manufacturers to speed up ventilator production.

On Friday (March 27), President Donald Trump said he would invoke the Defense Production Act-a wartime mobilization law-to direct companies to make ventilators.

Ford and GE were among those he named.

Ford says their simplified ventilator design relies on air pressure and can meet the needs of most COVID-19 patients without the need for electricity.

The companies plan to begin ventilator production at a plant in Michigan around April 20.

That's roughly when New York officials expect cases will peak in the state.

Ford officials said the workers will be stationed a safe distance apart from one another and will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before entering the plant.

Ventilators built by Ford, GM and others could be used in other parts of the country where the peak is expected to hit later.

GM said Sunday (March 29) it plans to produce up to 10,000 ventilators a month by this summer.