“Today, I have issued an order under the Defense Production Act to more fully ensure that domestic manufacturers can produce ventilators needed to save American lives,” Trump said in a statement.
The order, the statement said, will help domestic manufacturers “secure the supplies they need to build ventilators needed to defeat the virus.”
The President also said the move “will save lives by removing obstacles in the supply chain that threaten the rapid production of ventilators.”
The order, which came in the form of a presidential memorandum, directs the supply of materials to make ventilators to six companies: General Electric Co., Hill-Rom Holdings Inc., Medtronic Public Limited Co., ResMed Inc., Royal Philips N.V. and Vyaire Medical Inc.
It also directs acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to “use any and all authority available under the Act to facilitate the supply of materials” to these companies.
A spokesperson for General Electric said the company welcomes “efforts by the administration to address supply chain constraints and help the industry in its mission to produce as many ventilators as possible for clinicians on the front lines treating COVID-19 patients.”
The President has faced pressure to use the act to procure medical equipment and protective equipment for dealing with the coronavirus in the US.
CNN’s Jim Acosta contributed to this report.
This story has been updated with additional reporting about General Electric.