On their first day, auto workers at GM learn how ventilators go together. Photo: GM

Sadly, it's clear the wartime mobilization effort to produce ventilators and medical supplies got started too late to help patients and medical personnel before the coronavirus peaks in some cities like New York. But those supplies will be available for the next wave of the pandemic.

Driving the news: American manufacturers are saying it will be months before they meet demand for high-quality masks, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Most of the 100,000 ventilators President Trump promised the U.S. would obtain won't be available until June, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials told the House Oversight Committee this week, Politico reports.

  • On Thursday, the president invoked the emergency Defense Production Act to push 3M and six major medical device companies to produce more protective masks and ventilators.
  • Earlier, he used the act to push General Motors and a ventilator partner, Ventec Life Systems, to produce the life-saving machines.
  • The new order is intended to help the companies overcome supply chain obstacles "that threaten the rapid supply of ventilators."

By the numbers: 3M and a half dozen smaller competitors are making about 50 million protective N95 masks per month, well below the 300 million per month the Department of Health and Human Services says are needed to fight a pandemic.

In an exclusive interview with Axios, Rear Adm. John Polowczyk, the senior Navy officer now in charge of fixing America's broken medical supply chain, acknowledged that lining up new manufacturers will take weeks or longer.

  • "You can't just make masks in volume in a matter of days," he said.
  • But, by the time we get to "the other side," he added, "we're going to end up with more capacity domestically."

The bottom line: American industries are scaling as fast as they can, but global demand far outweighs the supply of needed equipment.

Go deeper: Louisiana on track to exceed ventilator capacity this week

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
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U.S. cities' lagging climate progress

Expand chart
Reproduced from a Brookings Institution report; Chart: Axios Visuals

A just-published Brookings Institution analysis of U.S. cities' pledges to cut carbon emissions reveals very mixed results.

Why it matters: The potential — and limits — of city and state initiatives have gotten more attention amid President Trump's scuttling of Obama-era national policies.

New state unemployment filings fall to 787,000

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

First-time applications for unemployment fell last week, according to Department of Labor data released on Thursday.

Between the lines: The overall number of Americans relying on unemployment also fell to a still-staggering 23 million. But there are continued signs of labor market strain, with more people shifting to an unemployment program designed for the long-term jobless.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: Many U.S. deaths were avoidable — The pandemic is getting worse again.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.