Coronavirus: Ford, GM take steps to start making ventilators, respirators, Elon Musk gets 1,000 ventilators to California hospitals

Ford is making medical supplies as the automaker shut down the assembly lines that make vehicles.

Ford is partnering with 3M and GE Healthcare to make respirators and ventilators, CNN reported.

Healthcare workers said there are not enough gloves, masks and ventilators needed as they treat patients with COVID-19.

Ford and 3M will be making a powered air-purifying respirator, or PAPR, as well as making the company’s current respirator.

PAPR is a clear mask that has a tube that brings in the air to a pump that filters it. It will be made from parts not only from 3M but also Ford, including a fan that is normally found in the F-150′s ventilated seats, CNN reported.

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Ford may start making the PAPR device at a Michigan factory, while 3M will be making the equipment at its factory, too.

At the same time, Ford has partnered with GE Healthcare to make ventilators. But details have not been released as to how that will happen.

Ford and the United Auto Workers Union are assembling clear plastic face shields that will be used not only at Detroit hospitals but also for store clerks who are deemed, essential workers.

Finally, Ford is using its 3D printers at the Advanced Manufacturing Center to print disposable air-filtering respirator masks. If approved, it will make 1,000 masks a month but could increase the number of items produced, CNN reported.

Ford isn’t the only automaker to jump into the medical supply business.

GM has partnered with Ventec Life Systems to make ventilators. Ventic said the partnership will help increase ventilator production, Reuters reported.

The equipment will be made at the Kokomo, Indiana, electronics assembly plant and is being called “Project V,” according to Reuters.

Fiat Chrysler is also making as many as 1 million face masks a week that will then be donated to hospitals, police and emergency personnel, CNN reported.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk donated more than 1,000 ventilators that he had purchased from China, and they will be sent to hospitals in California, USA Today reported.

He also got a shipment of PPE, or personal protective equipment, masks that had been held up at Los Angeles International Airport. The masks have been cleared by not only airport officials, but also customs and the Food and Drug Administration, USA Today reported.

Tesla and SpaceX are also looking into making ventilators, despite Musk saying they may not be needed, USA Today reported.

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