- The Washington Times - Friday, March 20, 2020

Some of the nation’s biggest companies are ramping up production of needed medical supplies as President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to speed aid to stricken communities.

Already, 3M and Honeywell are stepping up production of N95 industrial face masks for hospitals in need.

“Ventilators, more masks,” Mr. Trump said of his directive. “We have millions of masks that we’ve ordered. The states are having a hard time getting them. We need certain equipment that the states are unable to get themselves.”

Mr. Trump didn’t specify which companies are being brought into the effort. But General Motors has offered to use its factories to manufacture ventilators. Tesla founder Elon Musk also has offered his company to make ventilators.

Vice President Mike Pence said changes in liability protections this week enabled 3M and Honeywell to repurpose factories.

“Those companies have now greatly increased by the tens of millions their production of so-called N95 masks that will give our health care workers the protection that they need to minister to those that are dealing with the symptoms or disease of coronavirus,” he said.

The White House did not immediately supply a list of companies when asked, and Mr. Trump was vague about which companies will be taking part. He said he has heard from “many, many companies.”

The president said an unidentified automaker, apparently GM, “will be very shortly” making ventilators.

“They say they’ve done it before,” he said.

He also said the Carnival cruise line has offered some of its ships to temporarily house people in Los Angeles and New York.

“So far we haven’t needed to,” Mr. Trump said.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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