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Trump: Ford, GM, Tesla given OK to produce ventilators

President TrumpDonald TrumpIran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries Pardon-seekers have paid Trump allies tens of thousands to lobby president: NYT MORE announced Sunday his approval for Ford, General Motors and Tesla to produce desperately needed ventilators during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The president said in a tweet that the auto companies will be permitted to “make ventilators and other metal products, FAST!”

“Go for it auto execs, lets see how good you are?” he posted, tagging incoming White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsAuthor: Meadows is history's worst White House chief of staff Agency official says Capitol riot hit close to home for former Transportation secretary Chao Republicans wrestle over removing Trump MORE, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGraham calls on Schumer to hold vote to dismiss article of impeachment against Trump Rove: Chances of conviction rise if Giuliani represents Trump in Senate impeachment trial Boebert communications director resigns amid Capitol riot: report MORE (R-Ky.) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyHouse GOP lawmaker: Trump 'put all of our lives at risk' Sasse, in fiery op-ed, says QAnon is destroying GOP Democrats seize on GOP donor fallout MORE (R-Calif.).

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President Trump signed the Defense Production Act last week which permits the administration to draft the American industry into manufacturing needed medical supplies during a crisis. He said Friday he was putting the law "into gear" but it remained unclear to what extent he was using the order.

White House economic adviser Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE said last week that General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra offered to use the company’s factories to develop ventilators. GM also released a statement Friday saying it would enable Ventec Life Systems to increase manufacturing of respiratory care products to help fight the pandemic.

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"Ventec will leverage GM’s logistics, purchasing and manufacturing expertise to build more of their critically important ventilators," the statement reads.

Health care experts are warning that a lack of medical supplies could allow hospitals to become overwhelmed with the growing number of coronavirus cases and ill-equipped to handle them all. State governments around the country are requesting more supplies from masks to ventilators to keep up with the cases.

The U.S. has documented more than 26,700 cases, leading to 340 deaths and 176 recoveries, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.