After a series of attacks and a temporary stalled deal with General Motors, the United States President Donald Trump abruptly shifted gears to praise the automaker. While speaking to White House reporters, Trump spoke highly of the company and said that they are doing a ‘fantastic job’. Meanwhile, on March 29, GM vowed to move forward to built ventilators and aims to produce 10,000 ventilators a month by summer.
Trump has been on the defensive for not moving faster and has said that GM was wasting time in negotiations. However, Trump, on March 29, said that he doesn’t think he needs to worry about General Motors as they seem to be working ‘very, very hard’. He further added that he is also getting ‘good reports’ about General Motors.
While speaking to an international media outlet, General Motor’s manufacturing chief, Gerald Johnson, said no later than mid-April the company expect to be ‘up and running ventilators’. However, he also noted that the ventilators first need US regulatory approval and significant testing for which they will be training over 1,000 workers to assemble the ventilators. The company has reportedly vowed to move forward and build ventilators at its Kokomo, Indiana plant.
Last week, Trump has lashed out at the American automobile company, tweeting ‘start making ventilators now!!’. He alleged that a deal with GM never seems to work out as they were claiming that they could only produce 6,000 ventilators by April. He also added that the company must open its ‘abandoned’ plant in Ohio which was shut to focus on the electric and driverless vehicles to ‘produce ventilators now’.
Meanwhile, the USA which has overtaken China in the number of positive cases has emerged as the epicentre of the pandemic with more than 142,000 cases and nearly 2,485 deaths. New York which has witnessed the highest number of cases has been grappling with insufficiency of ventilators. Governor Andrew Cuomo had publicly appealed the US government to provide 30,000-40,000 ventilators, which was rubbished by Trump saying "You go into major hospitals sometimes, and they’ll have two ventilators. And now all of a sudden they’re saying, ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?’”. Trump has often downplayed coronavirus's effects - terming it a 'Chinese virus’.