The Department of Health and Human Services today announced the first contract for ventilator production under the Defense Production Act to General Motors Co. in Detroit. The contract, at a total price of $489.4 million, is for 30,000 ventilators to be delivered to the Strategic National Stockpile by the end of August.
The production schedule allows for the delivery of 6,132 ventilators by June 1. The rating of the contract under the DPA follows President Trump’s direction to HHS Secretary Alex Azar to invoke the Defense Production Act with regard to GM’s production of ventilators on March 27.
“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,” says Azar.
“The Trump Administration has deployed thousands of ventilators from the Strategic National Stockpile that have helped save lives in hotspots such as New York so far. We’re grateful to the GM team for working with the federal government to expand our nation’s supply of ventilators as the pandemic evolves.”
GM said in a statement it is working with Ventec Life Systems to arm front-line medical professionals with critical care ventilators to treat seriously ill patients and is proud to deploy its purchasing and manufacturing capability alongside the respiratory care expertise of Ventec.
In related news, the automaker expects to have 20,000 masks ready for delivery today (April 8). Once the line at a facility in Warren is running at full speed, it will be able to produce up to 50,000 masks every day — or up to 1.5 million masks a month.
GM is currently developing a plan for distributing the masks, including using some of this important safety equipment to protect employees in critical GM operations.