Trump Blames GM for "Stupidly" Causing Ventilator Shortage

Mish

Trump went off the deep end accusing GM of not making ventilators to alleviate a shortage in the US.

Always a Mess With Mary B

Mary T. Barra is GM's CEO.

Stupid GM

General Motors MUST immediately open their stupidly abandoned Lordstown plant in Ohio, or some other plant, and START MAKING VENTILATORS, NOW!!!!!! FORD, GET GOING ON VENTILATORS, FAST!!!!!!

Do This, Not That

It's not like one can make ventilators on the spot. GM and Ford are not tooled to do this immediately .

Ventilators are a regulated device.

Please consider Regulations Non-Medical Manufacturers May Need to Overcome to Tackle Ventilator Shortages.

Medical Device Developments editor Emma Green notes, it is by no means an easy process for manufacturers to navigate their way through.

“It’s quite a closed industry”, she says. “They are typically not looking at what other industries are doing, so it tends to be quite insular.

“In light of the complexity and sheer volume of regulation, the industry is relatively slow-moving compared to other sectors. Products typically take months and years to get to market, rather than weeks.

“Given existing legislative requirements – as well as the complexities involved in obtaining relevant components and tooling – there currently aren’t clear pathways to move forward in the way the government has suggested.”

That was a UK article but no doubt there are a mountain of regulation in the US as well.

And how easy is it to re-tool a product line in the first place, even if regulations were not an issue?

CPAP Machines Were Seen As Ventilator Alternatives, But Could Spread COVID-19

One reader emailed me regarding yet another conspiracy.

He claimed we could easily use CPAP machines.

I instinctively discard such articles and today I have an answer: CPAP Machines Were Seen As Ventilator Alternatives, But Could Spread COVID-19

Officials and scientists have known for years that when used with a face mask, such alternative devices can possibly increase the spread of infectious disease by aerosolizing the virus, whether used in the hospital or at home.

Indeed, that very scenario may have contributed to the spread of COVID-19 within a Washington state nursing home that became ground zero in the United States.

There is a supply of CPAP machines for a reason: They cause problems.

Ventilator Hackathon

Medical Design has an interesting article on how an Open Source Ventilator Hackathon Could Help Fight the Coronavirus.

The German federal government held a hackathon called WirvsVirus (“We against the virus”) where 42,000 people met to find solutions to challenges from the coronavirus. Infineon engineers, led by Mahmoud Ismail who has a doctorate in lung mechanics, submitted a 3D print design and a design for the electronics and algorithms to develop and open-source lung ventilator.

The OpenVent team used the concept of a bag valve mask to make a ventilator with stepper motors, 3D printed components, motor drivers, sensors and Arduino compatible software. The team also used electronics and sensor technologies from Infineon.

“We’re working for the most simple concept possible so that others can work further on it. The objective is for hospitals to be able to order lung ventilators,” Nico Kelling, one of the engineers on the OpenVent team, said. “Naturally, this is also a showcase for our products. But that’s really a secondary factor for us. We hope our idea will make it possible to provide a large number of devices within a short period of time. We can save lives.”

Open Source Hackathon

Technical innovation may indeed solve the problem. But it has to be in cooperation with the medical industry.

Car manufacturers have zero qualified expertise. Neither does Trump.

Natural Ability

Please recall Trump said "I Know So Much About the Coronavirus Because of Natural Ability"

Despite his self-professed "natural ability" Trump truly made a complete ass out of himself today.

There is no polite way of putting it, and no denial of that fact either.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (63)
No. 1-27
tokidoki
tokidoki

Impossible!!! ;) The most dynamic and INNOVATIVE economy on earth can not have shortages!!!

US companies are so nimble, they pivot faster than you can say pivot!!

Zardoz
Zardoz

Stupid. Dishonest. Paranoid. Mean. Obese. Entitled. Greedy beyond reason. Proud of all those things.

This is the example trump sets. If he were still on that moronic reality show, that would be fine, but he's in a leadership position. His stupid, dishonest, paranoid, mean obese supporters look to him for guidance, and he's leading them over the edge.

The Darwinian smackdown is in progress.

Sechel
Sechel

the stupidity is touting the g.m. ventilators and counting his chickens before they hatch.

i'll give trump one point, not sure he's even making it though. g.m. has no experience making ventilators so this is a ramp up

the issue is trump didn't act sooner and he appears to have put all his eggs in two baskets, g.m and ford. he should have acted sooner , used the act and made more requests.

going off on a twitter diatribe is not leadership. its symbolic of a lack of leadership and highlights shambolic leadership.

trump may have known he was about to fail since last night he claimed he doesn't believe ny even needs them. of course he didn't ask his own experts or ask cuomo for the detail behind his number he simply failed to manage the process

cuomo's been doing a great job with his press conferences .he explained the problem well. NY is 21 days from a peak and with coronavirus patients, while not everyone needs a ventilator, those that do seem to require them for longer periods of time, sometimes three weeks

Art Izagud
Art Izagud

Everything is moving to slow to matter. The old guard is out of date, and refusing to adapt in meaningful ways. Even the stimulus checks are delayed, with students who are supposed to quarentine left out while Social Security recipients get checks. The irony is that young adults can't afford their own homes to quarentine, and so are holed up with elders, marginalized by their polices. I've been recommending they all buy nice tents and camp to quarentine, with their stimulus checks, yet now many wont get them. Unintended consequences of the relief bill shenanagans will bite as usual.

Stuki
Stuki

Yo! Dumbass: If you weren't heading up a government which has spent the past 5 decades doing nothing at all, whatsoever, other than forcefully transferring resources and resource control: From the people, including at GM, competent enough to build anything of value; to vapid, braindead idiots in FIRE, bureaucratic and "legal" sectors who "make money off my poppeti", GM would still have the engineering acumen and resources to turn on close to a dime.

And Boeing would still be able to build planes which don't fall out of the sky. And Americans wouldn't be told to shelter at home, despite being, uhh??, Homeless.... Etc., etc.

But, the government you are currently heading, did do that. And nothing but that. Hence, GM, like other American institutions, don't have that ability. Nor any other ability, aside from leeching at the Debasement Trough. Way to late for any amount of petulant, prepubescent tweetrums, to change that now.

Instead, show us what a great dealmaker you are, and trade the carrier groups to your new buddy (even a broken clock.....) Xi, in exchange for turning the whole shitshow over to those guys. Who, despite not being all that, either, in the great scheme of things; at least don't have "utterly incompetent at anything at all" as both first, last and all middle names.

davebarnes
davebarnes

Notice how he mentions Lordstown by name. Trolling for votes.

Sechel
Sechel

governor of illinois says he's bidding against FEMA who is also trying to send ventilators to illinois. this is not efficient

Sechel
Sechel

one problem is the federal government is being reactive in all this instead of planning ahead and being proactive. is there a command and control center? do they have a virus response playbook? trump seems to be relying too much on the states when this is a national problem

DBG8489
DBG8489

I have an honest question...

Given all the reports about all the hospitals being overrun in NY and a few other places, where is the video?

We've seen dozens of videos of the Italian ICU situations but I can't seem to find any of hospitals in the US.

Perhaps the media isn't showing them for whatever reason, but I would have assumed there would be plenty of would-be reporters and/or whistle-blowers pushing out footage to plenty of places.

Caveat: I don't do social media at all. Anything I happen to come across from Facetwitstagram is through reading here or some other blog or ZH. My daughter is a dedicated user though and she hasn't seen any either.

She is now actively looking.

Anyone have any?

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

It is only gonna get worse for Trump this summer. At some point inside his administration people will clamor for him to step down. Once JaVanka asks, he may think about it seriously.

WildBull
WildBull

@DBG8489 I don't think it has happened yet. Give it a week or two. The MSM are doing their best to create panic now. Give it a week or two, and it will be real.

tokidoki
tokidoki

CautiousObserver
CautiousObserver

Ventilators are a sophisticated piece of medical equipment. The idea that any company that is not already making ventilators can somehow ramp up production from zero and be turning out large numbers of them in 2-3 weeks time is ludicrous. What will the design be? How will the components be sourced? How will people ensure they are safe and that they work as intended?

This is like that time when Elon Musk offered to make rescue pods for the children trapped in an underwater cave.

PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

It is stranglely curious that Hollywood has had various movies about pandemics: Outbreak, Contaigon, etc. and no one thought to prepare for the eventuality. The failure to “imagine” 9/11 is what left us unprepared. So I suggest we start planning somewhat for meteor strike, solar flare (emp wipeout), and space alien invasion. This seems more prudent than flushing trillions of dollars down the toilet in wars in the middle east.

njbr
njbr

A true "leader"--deny the problem, then blame others...

Sechel
Sechel

And to those that say the free market can solve this. That's really stupid.
Free market can't allocate to those hospitals and cities that need ventilators most. All free market can do is say that those willing and able to pay the most are likely to get access.

njbr
njbr

....Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday made a startling claim that medical supply vendors are “being told” to avoid sending badly needed gear to her state in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

During an interview with local station WWJ News Radio, Whitmer detailed how her state has had difficulty in securing supplies to help hospitals cope with the influx of COVID-19 patients.

“What I’ve gotten back is that vendors with whom we’ve procured contracts — they’re being told not to send stuff to Michigan,” she said. “It’s really concerning, I reached out to the White House last night and asked for a phone call with the president.”

At the time that she called the White House, Trump was attacking her during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, in which the president accused her of being insufficiently grateful for his assistance.

“We’ve had a big problem with the young — a woman governor,” Trump said. “You know who I’m talking about — from Michigan. We don’t like to see the complaints. […] She doesn’t get it done, and we send her a lot. Now, she wants a declaration of emergency, and, you know, we’ll have to make a decision on that. But Michigan is a very important state. I love the people of Michigan.”

Sechel
Sechel

I get the sense that the white house is not having daily meetings about what needs to get done each day, how many ventilators they need, where they are , what can be done and daily bottlenecks that need to be resolved. this is all quite reactive.

QTPie
QTPie

This is a complete clusterfcuk!

I can tell you from sources on “the inside” that various agencies sent the White House urgent memos requesting the authority to direct industry to produce the essential and critical supplies they knew were going to be in very short supply and also around enacting the DPA a long time ago and the Whitehouse just “sat” on them and took no action for at least three weeks.

A lot of these agencies are also understaffed with the administration either not filling various director positions, with others going to interims with questionable competency.

The Trump administration is a total disaster. No other way to put it.

Advancingtime
Advancingtime

America's response to covid-19 has been an appalling series of flip-flops and disinformation. Throwing a huge amount of money into the financial system but not addressing the medical issue will not work. The article below makes the case the American government has failed in its response to covid-19.

thimk
thimk

Just 2 thoughts , ventilator production is probable dependent on parts from China
and for most US corps funding for R & D/quality improvement took a backseat to Stock valuation/short term profits .

marg54
marg54

From the Guardian More on the situation in the US, as my colleague Jonathan Freedland skewers Donald Trump in a newly posted comment piece in which he accuses the US president of putting his ego first in his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. He writes:

The US president always was capricious and vengeful, but now that character flaw is a matter of life and death. State governors are crying out for federal help, not for themselves but for the people they represent: the nurses and doctors who need protective equipment and testing kits, the patients who need ventilators. But instead of leaping to their aid, Trump tells the governors it’s their responsibility, even though they have a fraction of the procurement power of the US government – adding that if they want help, they’d better grovel. ‘It’s a two-way street,’ Trump said this week. ‘They have to treat us well.’ Even when lives are on the line, his ego with its paper-thin skin comes first.

Sechel
Sechel

saw a doctor from one of the leading hospitals on tv today talk about the ventilators. it wasn't good news. first ventilators themselves can cause damage because they are forcing air into a patients lungs. second ventilators aren't a cure they simply buy time an hope that the patients immune system will kick in and fight the virus. third the average ventilator time is substantial, i think they said like 20 days. what was so sober about it was that he said the longer the patient is on the ventilator the more likely they are going to die. in his hospital nobody had yet successfully come off the ventilator to live. those are pretty somber statistics. I'm assuming the larger reality isn't as grim otherwise why would they be going through this effort.

Woodturner
Woodturner

I’ve been in probably 300 different manufacturing plants during my career selling industrial equipment. We are an innovative country but having seen so many different types of production I find it very difficult to think you could completely change the nature of what you manufacture in a short time. Particularly with longer lead times on new equipment. I think it more likely a consortium of different manufacturers could collaborate on making different parts of a single design and then those parts going to assembly and testing.

Plus it’s useful to note that though ventilators can help, the mortality rate of those with COVID19 on ventilators is 70% in Seattle and 86% in Italy. They aren’t a panacea.

Tom from Michigan
Tom from Michigan

Mish... have you looked at the impact of COVID-19 on mortality rates by country? What is the CV death rate based on historical mortality rates by country? Does that number match the COVID-19 numbers being reported?


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