Trump invokes the Defense Production Act to step up production of ventilators

White House to hold briefing as Trump invokes the Defense Production Act
Posted at 4:46 PM, Apr 02, 2020

President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he has invoked the Defense Production Act, requiring at least six national companies to produce ventilators to help combat illnesses related to COVID-19.

Thursday's announcement comes as a model, which is guiding the White House's decision making, suggests many states will reach ICU capacity in the coming days.

According to the "Chris Murray Model" compiled by the IHME, nearly 32,000 ventilators will be needed during the peak of COVID-19, which is projected to come in the middle of April.

"Today, I have issued an order under the Defense Production Act to more fully ensure that domestic manufacturers can produce ventilators needed to save American lives," Trump's wrote in his executive order. "My order to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Homeland Security will help domestic manufacturers like General Electric, Hill-Rom, Medtronic, ResMed, Royal Philips, and Vyaire Medical secure the supplies they need to build ventilators needed to defeat the virus.

"I am grateful to these and other domestic manufacturers for ramping up their production of ventilators during this difficult time. Today’s order will save lives by removing obstacles in the supply chain that threaten the rapid production of ventilators."

But where Trump will send these ventilators is up for debate. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his state could need up to 30,000 ventilators.

"At the current burn rate, we have about six days of ventilators in our stockpile," Cuomo said on Thursday. "Meaning if the rate of usage, the rate of people coming into hospitals who need ventilators if that rate continues, in our stockpile, we have about six days. Now, if the apex happens within that timeframe, if the apex increase, if the apex is longer, we have an issue with ventilators."

Trump has disagreed that some states need as many ventilators as requested.

"We can’t take them to places that aren’t needing them," Trump said on Tuesday. "Plus, we have requests for ventilators in hospitals and in states and cities that don’t need them, in our opinion. They don’t need them. They won’t need them at the top."

The Chris Murray Model projects that New York will need up to 14,000 ventilators by next week.

Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook .