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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump orders US troops back to active duty for coronavirus response Trump asserts power to decide info inspector general for stimulus gives Congress Fighting a virus with the wrong tools 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 Randall MeadowsThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Airbnb - Senators clinch deal on T stimulus package White House, Senate reach deal on trillion stimulus package The Hill's 12:30 Report: Lawmakers near deal on stimulus MORE, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Trump signs T coronavirus relief package Pelosi not invited by Trump to White House coronavirus relief bill's signing MORE (R-Ky.) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyLysol, disinfecting wipes and face masks mark coronavirus vote in House Trump signs T coronavirus relief package Pelosi not invited by Trump to White House coronavirus relief bill's signing 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 KudlowLawrence (Larry) Alan 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.