Coronavirus: Trump orders ‘time wasting’ General Motors to make ventilators

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BBC News- US President Donald Trump has ordered General Motors to make ventilators for coronavirus patients after attacking the car giant’s chief executive.

He invoked the Korean War-era Defense Production Act, which allows a president to force companies to make products for national defence.

Mr Trump said that “GM was wasting time” and action was needed to save American lives.

The US now has 104,000 cases of the virus, the most in the world.

With nearly 1,700 fatalities, America’s Covid-19 death toll still lags far behind Italy and China.

Mr Trump had previously said the defence order was not necessary, because companies were voluntarily converting their operations to help fight the spread of coronavirus.

But on Friday he said in a statement: “The virus is too urgent to allow the give-and-take of the contracting process to continue to run its normal course.”

Earlier in the day he took to Twitter to complain that GM lowered the number of ventilators they had promised to deliver from 40,000 to 6,000 and had wanted “top dollar”.

He also criticised GM chief executive Mary Barra, saying things are “always a mess” with her at the helm of the Detroit-based auto manufacture.

GM said on Friday it can build at least 10,000 ventilators per month from April.