Trump accuses GM of overpromising on breathing machines from Indiana plant

President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Sunday, March 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

DETROIT (AP) — President Donald Trump attacked General Motors, alleging that the company promised to build thousands more breathing machines than it can deliver for coronavirus patients and that it wants too money for them.

Friday afternoon, the President ordered General Motors to make ventilators under the Defense Production Act.

"“As usual with ‘this’ General Motors, things just never seem to work out,” Trump wrote on Twitter, adding that the company promised 40,000 ventilators quickly but now says it will build only 6,000 in late April. Trump also tweeted that Ford should start making ventilators fast."

He also wrote that GM should reopen its factory in Lordstown, Ohio, or another facility to build ventilators.

His tweets came after a television interview in which he cast doubt on medical experts and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo who have said they need thousands more ventilators than they have to handle the coronavirus.

GM said it can build 10,000 ventilators per month starting in April with capacity to build more. A GM spokesperson said the order does not change GM’s previously announced plans or schedule to produce the ventilators, according to CNBC.

“Our commitment to build Ventec’s high-quality critical care ventilator, VOCSN, has never wavered,” GM said. “The partnership between Ventec and GM combines global expertise in manufacturing quality and a joint commitment to safety to give medical professionals and patients access to life-saving technology as rapidly as possible. The entire GM team is proud to support this initiative.”

On Friday, Indiana's GM plant in Kokomo announced that it will begin production to make VOCSN critical care ventilators.

"Ventec and GM teams have been tirelessly and seamlessly working together to create and implement a plan for immediate, scaled production of critical care ventilators. The Ventec and GM global supply base developed sourcing plans for the more than 700 individual parts that are needed to build up to 200,000 VOCSN."

Around 1,000 workers are being recalled to help with the production, according to the Kokomo Tribune.

During a news conference on Friday, shortly after President Trump's remarks, Governor Eric Holcomb was asked to comment on the President's tweets.

"I applaud General Motors," Gov. Eric Holcomb said. "They are moving forward."

GM’s statement said the company is scheduled to start shipping ventilators as soon as next month from the Kokomo factory.