As of today, the number of COVID-19 cases, otherwise known as coronavirus, has reached 140,904 in the U.S. with 2,405 recorded deaths – according to the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dated March 30, 2020.
With that number, the U.S. needs all the help it could get in order to fight the dreaded pandemic. Ford has confirmed that it is now working with GE Healthcare to produce 50,000 ventilators in its Rawsonville plant in Michigan.
The ventilator's design would be coming from Airon Corp., which is a company specialising in high-tech pneumatic life support products. With Ford's manufacturing capabilities and GE Healthcare's clinical expertise, the ventilators are expected to be made as quickly as possible in order to meet the growing demand in the country.
Of note, the GE/Airon Model A-E ventilator is designed for quick setup and can be deployed in an emergency room setting. It operates on air pressure with the need for electricity – something that coronavirus patients are in dire need right now.
"The Ford and GE Healthcare teams, working creatively and tirelessly, have found a way to produce this vitally needed ventilator quickly and in meaningful numbers," said Jim Hackett, Ford’s president and CEO. "By producing this ventilator in Michigan, in strong partnership with the UAW, we can help health care workers save lives, and that’s our No. 1 priority."
Most of the work will start by the week of April 20 with the target number expected to be completed after 100 days. Ford looks to produce 1,500 ventilators by the end of April, 12,000 by the end of May, and 50,000 by July 4. However, Ford will initially send a team to Florida to aid Airon in production as soon as possible.