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Ford and GE Healthcare to produce 50K ventilators to battle COVID-19

Graphic provided by Ford Communications

Ford pledges to produce 50,000 ventilators over the next 100 days in an attempt to slow the devastating effects of COVID-19 in Michigan.

The “Big Three” automakers’ collaboration with medical equipment company GE Healthcare to develop ventilators licensed by Airon Corp. comes on the heels of a drastically rising death toll and more than 6,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the “Great Lakes” state.

On Friday, March 27, 2020, the president blasted automakers on Twitter for “wasting time” producing much-needed ventilators while hospitals and health care workers struggled to treat patients with dwindling supplies and resources.

According to Reuters, Ford responded to the president’s tweets with assurances that its partnership with GE Healthcare resulted in boosted production capacity and that plans for ventilator manufacturing were already underway.

GE Healthcare and Ford sought the advice of top medical experts to determine the best design for COVID-19 patient care before licensing Airon’s Model A-E ventilator design. The Airon Model A-E helps COVID-19 patients with respiratory failure and breathing difficulty.  It has a quick setup for ease of use by any health care worker, it runs on air pressure instead of electricity, and it is adaptable to any setting, such as an intensive care unit or emergency room.

“The Ford and GE Healthcare teams, working creatively and tirelessly, have found a way to produce this vitally needed ventilator quickly and in meaningful numbers,” said Jim Hackett, Ford’s president and CEO. “By producing this ventilator in Michigan in strong partnership with the UAW, we can help health care workers save lives, and that’s our No. 1 priority.”

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