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The White House canceled an announcement planned for Wednesday on a proposed venture between General Motors and Ventec Life Systems to build necessary ventilators amid the coronavirus outbreak, the New York Times first reported and Axios confirmed.
What we know: The announcement was called off to buy more time for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assess whether the estimated cost of more than $1 billion was too expensive, and how many ventilators would be produced. Per the Times, the deal could still happen, but government officials are currently looking at other proposals.
- Last week, GM and Ventec announced plans to collaborate in an attempt to expand Ventec's manufacturing capacity, including the possibility of building additional units at a GM component plant in Kokomo, Indiana.
- "Both GM and Ventec continue to work hard looking at how to make more ventilators, and we are continuing to assess how we can use Kokomo," said GM spokesman Dan Flores.
The big picture: Manufacturers around the globe are shifting gears to produce supplies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials including ventilators, surgical masks and latex gloves are in high demand from medical providers as patients swarm health care facilities.