He added, “FORD, GET GOING ON ventilators, FAST!!!!!!”
Shortly afterward, General Motors and Ventec announced that they would begin producing ventilators at the Kokomo plant, and that the machines would be “scheduled to ship as soon as next month.” The statement did not directly address the president’s criticism.
“Depending on the needs of the federal government, Ventec and GM are poised to deliver the first ventilators next month,” the statement said, “and ramp up to a manufacturing capacity of more than 10,000 critical care ventilators per month with the infrastructure and capability to scale further.” G.M. said it was “donating its resources at cost.”
The competing tweets and announcements underscored the chaos that has surrounded the effort to ramp up emergency production.
Both the president and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the top health expert on his coronavirus task force, have played down the immediate need for a large numbers of ventilators in New York and other states in recent days, rejecting calls from governors and major hospitals to help them before their needs outstrip their supply.
“I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators,” Mr. Trump said, discussing an urgent request from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York. “You know, you’re going to major hospitals sometimes, they’ll have two ventilators. And now, all of a sudden, they’re saying, can we order 30,000 ventilators?”
Mr. Cuomo, in an appearance on Friday morning at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, which is being transformed into a temporary hospital center, defended the magnitude of the state’s request.
“Look, I don’t have a crystal ball,” Mr. Cuomo said. “Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. But I don’t operate here on opinion; I operate on facts and on data and on numbers and on projections.”