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Ford to help make masks and ventilators to fight coronavirus

Ford to help make masks and ventilators to fight coronavirus
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Ford announced Tuesday that it is working with other companies to ramp up production of critical supplies for fighting coronavirus. 

The automobile company said it is partnering with 3M to produce a new design for Powered Air-Purifying Respirators, masks for health care workers that purify the air. Ford said it is hoping to help 3M increase production “tenfold.”

The company is also partnering with GE Healthcare to produce ventilators, key machines that help seriously ill people breathe. 

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Ford said both the masks and ventilators could be produced in Ford facilities in addition to facilities from the other companies, to increase capacity. 

Officials said they are trying to work as fast as possible but did not yet have a firm timeline for when these products would become available. 

The move from Ford could help increase the availability of the critically needed supplies. Health care workers are warning that they are running dangerously low on protective equipment like masks, and as the crisis worsens, there might not be enough life-saving ventilators to go around, especially in the hardest hit areas like New York.

“This is such a critical time for America and the world,” said Bill Ford, the company’s executive chairman. “It is a time for action and cooperation. By coming together across multiple industries, we can make a real difference for people in need and for those on the front lines of this crisis.”

Other major car companies are also taking action. Fiat Chrysler said Monday it would produce one million face shields for health care workers per month. 

And General Motors is partnering with the health care company Ventec to help make more ventilators, though that effort is also in the early stages. 

While there have been voluntary actions like these from companies, President TrumpDonald John TrumpFox News president, top anchors advised to quarantine after coronavirus exposure: report Six notable moments from Trump and Biden's '60 Minutes' interviews Biden on attacks on mental fitness: Trump thought '9/11 attack was 7/11 attack' MORE is also under pressure to take further action by using the Defense Production Act to allow the government to direct companies to ramp up production of critical supplies.