Ford steps up, but GM is forced to prioritize wartime needs after failed negotiations: ‘We’re not looking to get ripped off’

On Friday, exactly nine days since President Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act, he formally applied the law against one of the world’s top automobile manufacturers, General Motors, in response to the multinational corporation reportedly failing to start producing ventilators at a reasonable cost.

Today, I signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to use any and all authority available under the Defense Production Act to require General Motors to accept, perform, and prioritize Federal contracts for ventilators,” he said in a statement.

“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. GM was wasting time. Today’s action will help ensure the quick production of ventilators that will save American lives.”

During Friday’s White House coronavirus briefing later Friday evening, he suggested that the automobile manufacturer had been trying to rip off the government.


“We’re not looking to get into a big deal on price,” he said. “We’re not looking to be ripped off on price. We don’t want prices to be double, triple what they should be. So General Motors, we’ll see what happens. But now they’re talking, but they weren’t talking the right way at the beginning and that was not right to the country.”

He’d also complained about GM earlier in the week via Twitter:

With GM — as well as Philips, Medtronic, Hamilton, Zoll, ResMed, HillRom and Vyair and Ford — now helping, the Trump administration expects to be able to produce over 100,000 ventilators within the next 100 days.

And if the administration winds up with more ventilators than are actually needed by the nation’s hospitals, it intends to donate the rest to other countries in need, the president said at the White House coronavirus briefing Friday.

Despite the president including Ford in the angry tweets seen above, the top automobile manufacturer wasn’t cited in his memorandum because it’d reportedly already stepped up.

In an exclusive statement to Fox News, Ford Advanced Strategy & Planning Director Todd Hoevener revealed what the company’s contributions coronavirus relief efforts have been thus far.

“Ford’s responding to help with what appears to be needs for personal protective equipment and then ventilators to keep the most severe cases living,” he said.

“And then of course health care providers, protecting them while they’re providing the healthcare. It’s shown that hospitals are running out of equipment, so Ford is responding based on that really call to arms.”

(Source: Fox News)

He also explained why, unlike GM, Ford rushed to help.

“I think it’s a deep sense of family responsibility,” he said. “Obviously, we’re a family company with Bill Ford at the top. And it’s essentially been ingrained in my livelihood at Ford. So when this came up, it wasn’t really like a debate like should we or shouldn’t we.”

“It was hey, here’s what’s going on, here’s some data, as our plants are being shut down, let’s start utilizing our workforce to do some good for the country. We’ve already shipped around 30,000 face shields and we’re scaling that up to over 100,000, and it’s going to scale up even further. And that material we had to go out and purchase, but we do what we do.”

A couple of other notable events occurred Friday.

First, the president signed the CARE Act, which has been designed to prop up the economy during the global coronavirus pandemic by funneling much-needed money to business, as well as those Americans who’ve either been laid off or are still on the payroll but can’t work because of local shutdown/lockdown quarantines.

Second, he announced that, in conjunction with his administration, Apple has launched a coronavirus screening app and website.

“This afternoon, Apple launched a new tool created in partnership with our task force, the CDC and FEMA,” the president said during Friday’s briefing. “Any individual who is concerned that they might have the virus can now download the free C-O-V-I-D dash 19 app on their iPhone and answer a set of simple questions about their symptoms and risk factors.”

“It’s getting to be a very modernized system indeed. They’ll soon receive HHS recommendations on what to do next, including whether they should get tested or not. And again, we only want people to get tested if they … If we think they need it.”


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