Donald Trump has criticised vehicle manufacturer General Motors, claiming it has reduced the number of ventilators it said it could provide for coronavirus patients.
In a tweet, the US president wrote: “As usual with ‘this’ General Motors, things just never seem to work out. They said they were going to give us 40,000 much needed ventilators, ‘very quickly’.
“Now they are saying it will only be 6000, in late April, and they want top dollar.”
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The US now leads the world in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases and it has been scrambling to find enough breathing machines to treat growing numbers of COVID-19 patients.
Car giants General Motors and Ford have teamed with ventilator makers to produce more of the life-saving devices, with GM saying it plans to start building test versions in early April.
But Mr Trump has called for General Motors to “start making ventilators, now”, suggesting he could invoke the Defense Production Act to force the company to make them.
He wrote: “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!!!!!!”
In New York, the US epicentre of the virus, state governor Andrew Cuomo has made a plea for 30,000 ventilators.