Ventilators represent the last line of defense for patients suffering with severe COVID-19 symptoms. We are moving swiftly in Trump Time to address a significant shortage of these lifesavers.
The Trump administration has worked with 10 manufacturers on a plan to deliver an additional 5,000 ventilators within the next 30 days, and more than 100,000 additional ventilators by the end of June.
In a page taken out of the World War II playbook, the Ford Motor Co., with General Electric, is racing to produce an additional 50,000 new ventilators in 100 days at a converted auto plant in Michigan.
Our clear challenge is to get enough ventilators where and when they are most needed over the coming days and weeks while we race to increase health care capacity to do so. The American public is critical to helping us win this race. By embracing mitigation measures, such as social distancing, we will flatten the epidemiological curve of infections, so we can more efficiently use our existing ventilator stock.
With the full force of the Trump administration, the full partnership and patriotism of private enterprise and the extraordinary sacrifices of the American people, we will defeat this virus — and our country will be stronger and more innovative and more united for it.
As we face this crisis, one of the biggest lessons we have learned is that America is too dependent on foreign nations and the global supply chain for essential medicines, like penicillin; medical supplies, such as masks and gloves; and medical equipment, like ventilators. More than 50 nations have already imposed some form of export restrictions on the products we need to survive, and this will only get worse.
President Donald Trump has been right from the beginning: We must continue to buy American, secure our borders and build a strong manufacturing base. It is essential for our economic security, our national security, and in this case, our public health.
Peter Navarro, assistant to the president for trade and manufacturing, is the coordinator of the Defense Production Act policy.