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Ford Motor Co promises to build ventilators, Cuomo says start now

Posted at 8:17 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 20:17:25-04

NEW YORK — When President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that he actually liked Governor Andrew Cuomo and had just sent 4,000 ventilators to New York State, a more subdued Cuomo gave his daily briefing on the COVID-19 virus and said the state was still way short.

New York has bought about 7,000 new ventilators since the coronavirus crisis escalated, but it’s competing with other states—and nations—for the expensive medical devices.

Jim Hackett—the CEO of the Ford Motor Company—said this week he would answer the call to help.

“By the middle of May, we could be making hundreds of thousands of ventilators," Hackett said.

But that’s not soon enough for Cuomo, who said 24/7 ventilator production by companies needs to start now to meet the expected crushing demand from New York in two to three weeks.

Hackett said Ford is working closely with General Electric and also with companies in Great Britain.

He told CNN the Ford Company produced iron lungs during the polio crisis.

To address the highly contagious COVID-19, Ford will create welder-type masks, with a shield that would stop the virus from entering a person’s eyes, nose or mouth.