The president was asked during the daily White House coronavirus task force briefing why the country was continuing to prioritize the production of ventilators and he said the U.S. is stocking up for the future and lending support to other nations. He also took credit for solving the ventilator shortage that had been highlighted by various state governors, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
"We have to have them for other reasons, something else could come. We didn’t know about [coronavirus]. Now we know about [coronavirus]. But look at what happened. We had the H1N1 swine flu, we had that, we have other things that have happened," he said. "The stockpiles -- we're making hundreds of thousands of ventilators right now. Nobody writes about that."
"At one time, all they talked about was ventilators, ventilators -- because you didn’t think it was possible for me to solve that problem and I solved it," Trump continued. "And nobody can believe it. I just spoke to world leaders today who desperately need ventilators. They said, the job you’ve done -- and we're sending 500 to Mexico, then another 500 to France. We're sending some to Spain, we're sending some to Italy. They're being made by the thousands."
Trump also said he'd been on been multiple calls with world leaders who saluted his leadership and thanked him for providing U.S. assistance.
Aside from the countries Trump mentioned, the U.S. has talked to Mexico about sending ventilators to help with shortages there.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he spoke with Trump on Friday and he offered to sell Mexico 1,000 ventilators by the end of the month, with an option to purchase more in the future, Reuters reported.
The Trump administration is currently overseeing a program to build 187,000 ventilators for $2.9 billion, according to Reuters.
General Motors & Ventec Life Systems expect to make more than 10,000 ventilators per month once they reach full production.
Ford is expected to produce 50,000 ventilators within the next 100 days. Once at full production, Ford plans to make 7,200 ventilators per week After the initial 100 days, Ford will have the ability to produce 30,000 ventilators a month, the company said.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors said cities have reported a need for an estimated 139,000 ventilators. There are about 20,000 ventilators in the U.S. stockpile.