GM CEO: 20-Hour Days Sped Up Ventilator Process

First batch will be delivered by end of April
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2020 11:41 AM CDT
GM CEO: 20-Hour Days Sped Up Ventilator Process
In this Jan. 11, 2019, file photo, GM CEO Mary Barra is interviewed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Late last month, President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to mandate that General Motors start cranking out ventilators in bulk to help in the fight against the coronavirus. Now GM and Ventec Life Systems, the medical tech firm it's working with, say they'll deliver their first batch to FEMA ahead of schedule, NBC News reports. GM chief Mary Barra attributes the earlier-than-expected delivery out of its Kokoma, Ind., plant to "our people," noting that "many ... have been working virtually around the clock, 20-hour days, to make sure we can start building ventilators as quickly as possible." A GM statement says more than 600 ventilators will be shipped by the end of this month, about 15,000 will be delivered by the end of the June, and the rest of the 30,000-ventilator order will come by the end of August.

GM adds that it "has the capacity to build more ventilators after August if needed." Meanwhile, one of the world's favorite toymakers is also diving into the coronavirus battle. Good Morning America reports that the Lego Group has turned its Denmark factory into a temporary personal protective equipment (PPE) plant. "This week we began to make visors at our factory in Billund for healthcare workers on the frontline in Denmark," the company wrote in an Instagram post last week. It says roughly 100 employees are involved in the effort. "They worked around the clock to create designs and make molds that can produce more than 13,000 visors a day." (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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