Making his first visit to Michigan since the coronavirus pandemic began in the U.S., President Donald Trump on Thursday praised the ingenuity and pluck of Ford Motor Co. and its employees for turning its Ypsilanti components plant into a ventilator factory.
In remarks after a brief tour of the plant and a sit-down with African American officials, ministers and Republican U.S. Senate candidate John James, Trump noted Ford’s quick turnaround in ramping up ventilator production, but said it’s time to get the American economy — and especially manufacturing — roaring again.
“One month ago, Ford had never built a single ventilator and now you’re a world leader,” the president said to an audience that included Executive Chairman Bill Ford and CEO Jim Hackett. “Very soon you’ll be producing a new ventilator every single minute. It’s an amazing achievement.”
Ford has teamed up with GE Healthcare to produce about 50,000 breathing ventilators as part of the Trump administration’s effort to make 100,000 new machines by July.
The ventilators are necessary medical equipment to treat people who contract severe breathing problems due to the virus, which has killed more than 5,000 people in Michigan since March and nearly 95,000 people across the U.S.