Covid -19: GE, Ford sign $336 million contract to produce 50,000 ventilators for the US

Covid -19: GE, Ford sign $336 million contract to produce 50,000 ventilators for the US

Each ventilator would cost $6,720 as production starts next week.

The United States has signed a deal of $336 million, on Thursday, with General Electric and Ford Motor to produce 50,000 ventilators for the U.S. government under the Defense Production Act, according to federal officials.

Production of the ventilators is to commence in a Ford facility in Michigan. The companies are expected to produce all the ventilators by July 13, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The terms in the deal says each ventilator would cost $6,720. That’s nearly $10,000 below a previous federal contract for 30,000 ventilators at $489.4 million, or about $16,300 per unit, with General Motors and Washington-based Ventec Life Systems.

A Ford spokesman said production of the ventilators will be done at-cost. GM also said it would not be profiting from its ventilator production.

Tom Westrick, vice president and chief quality officer of GE Healthcare, previously said the more “basic” ventilators are “well-suited to address the urgent needs during the Covid crisis.”

Ford, in an emailed statement, said it appreciates “the federal government’s action and will continue to work closely with the administration to meet the immediate needs of coronavirus patients.”

The ventilators Ford and GE are producing are with license from Florida-based Airon Corp., a small, privately held company specializing in high-tech pneumatic life support products. The devices operate on air pressure without the need for electricity.

GE and Ford have said they are producing these ventilators at almost zero profits and as a support to the US government in combating the crornavirus pandemic.

The federal contract is the second for GE Healthcare regarding ventilator production. Earlier in the week, a deal was announced for 2,410 ventilators for $64.1 million.

The United States currently has a total of 678,210 confirmed cases, 57,844 discharged patients and 34,641 deaths.

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