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GM CEO Mary Barra and Ventec Life Systems CEO Chris Kiple talk with employees at an Indiana electronics plant that has shifted to producing ventilators for the federal government.

General Motors on Tuesday began mass production of critical care ventilators that will be delivered to the federal government to replenish depleted U.S. stockpiles in the fight against the coronavirus.

Why it matters: The automaker has a $489.4 million contract to produce 30,000 ventilators by August under the Defense Production Act, which President Trump invoked on March 27 in an effort to meet exploding demand for the life-saving devices.

Details: GM and its partner, Ventec Life Systems, said they will ship more than 600 ventilators this month, and almost 15,000 by the end of June. All 30,000 will be delivered by the end of August, but GM said it has the capacity to build more ventilators after August if needed.

“Thousands of men and women at GM, Ventec, our suppliers and the Kokomo community have rallied to support their neighbors and the medical professionals on the front lines of this pandemic. Everyone wants to help turn the tide and save lives. It is inspiring and humbling to see the passion and commitment people have put into this work.”
— GM CEO Mary Barra

The big picture: The Trump administration has said it is working with about 10 ventilator companies to obtain about 100,000 of the machines over the next 100 days.

Go deeper

Supreme Court rejects second GOP effort to cut absentee ballot deadline in N.C.

Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

The Supreme Court, for the second time in two days, rejected a GOP request to shorten the deadline mail-in ballots must be received by North Carolina officials to be counted.

The state of play: The state's deadline had been extended from 3 days to 9 days post-Election Day.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

The vaccine race turns toward nationalism

The coronavirus pandemic is worsening, both in the U.S. and abroad, with cases, hospitalizations and deaths all rising.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of global vaccine development — including why the U.S. and China seem to going at it alone — with medicinal chemist and biotech blogger Derek Lowe.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day.
  2. Politics: Top HHS spokesperson pitched coronavirus ad campaign as "helping the president" — Space Force's No. 2 general tests positive for coronavirus.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases — Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave.
  4. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.