Taken from NBC News
By Dartunorro Clark
March 27, 2020
The president excoriated General Motors and its CEO, Mary Barra, in a tweet for not moving quickly enough to produce needed ventilators.
President Donald Trump invoked the rarely used Defense Production Act on Friday to order the Department of Health and Human Services to compel General Motors to manufacturer ventilators hours after he sharply criticized the company for slow-walking production.
“Our negotiations with GM regarding its ability to supply ventilators have been productive, but our fight against the virus is too urgent to allow the give-and-take of the contracting process to continue to run its normal course,” Trump said in a statement. “GM was wasting time. Today’s action will help ensure the quick production of ventilators that will save American lives.”
Fearful of infection rates spiking, health officials and lawmakers in many parts of the country have said they are in dire need of ventilators, particularly as the U.S. surpassed 100,000 coronavirus cases on Friday, the most of any country, according to an NBC News count.
Trump, in a tweet on Friday, excoriated General Motors and its CEO, Mary Barra, for not moving quickly enough to produce needed ventilators amid the coronavirus pandemic and wanting “top dollar” for the contract.
“As usual with ‘this’ General Motors, things just never seem to work out,” Trump tweeted. “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. Always a mess with Mary B. Invoke ‘P.’”
He followed up in a tweet by saying that “Invoke P” referred to invoking the Defense Production Act.
At a Friday briefing, Trump announced that Peter Navarro, the White House trade adviser, would be the policy coordinator overseeing the administration’s enforcement of the Defense Protection Act.
Trump himself has been criticized for not quickly invoking his authority to use the act as the nation’s hospitals and health care facilities are in dire need of critical medical supplies. He announced he would use the act this month, but did not invoke it until Friday.