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

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 19,282,972 — Total deaths: 718,851 — Total recoveries — 11,671,491Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 4,937,441 — Total deaths: 161,248 — Total recoveries: 1,623,870 — Total tests: 60,415,558Map.
  3. Politics: Trump says he's prepared to sign executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases.
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

Warren and Clinton to speak on same night of Democratic convention

(Photos: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images, Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton both are slated to speak on the Wednesday of the Democratic convention — Aug. 19 — four sources familiar with the planning told Axios.

Why it matters: That's the same night Joe Biden's running mate (to be revealed next week) will address the nation. Clinton and Warren represent two of the most influential wise-women of Democratic politics with the potential to turn out millions of establishment and progressive voters in November.

Trump considering order on pre-existing condition protections, which already exist

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced on Friday he will pursue an executive order requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, something that is already law.

Why it matters: The Affordable Care Act already requires insurers to cover pre-existing conditions. The Trump administration is currently arguing in a case before the Supreme Court to strike down that very law — including its pre-existing condition protections.