Coronavirus' ventilator demand: Who makes them and what will it take to get them?
Trump: We’re ordering ‘thousands and thousands’ of ventilators
President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence discuss ordering upwards of 10,000 ventilators to the U.S.
On Sunday, President Donald Trump challenged the Big Three automakers to switch their production lines over to manufacturing ventilators to meet the increasing demand states and hospitals say they will need to handle spread of the coronavirus.
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Not to be left out, Tesla chief Elon Musk tweeted over the weekend about his meeting with one of the leading ventialtor companies.
But as noble as these intentions may be, supply chain experts say it is not like flipping a switch in a factory and such a move could take months before a line is operational. “When you are repurposing a factory, it really depends on how similar the new product is to the existing products in your product line,” said Kaitlin Wowak, a professor at the University of Notre Dame who focuses on industrial supply chains. “It’s going to be a substantial pivot to start producing an entirely different item.”
The National Institues of Health estimates there are slightly more than 62,000 ventilators in the U.S. A February report by Johns Hopkins Univeristy stated that "During a severe influenza pandemic, it has been projected that the demand for assisted ventilation in hospitals could increase by 25% or more." That would mean an additional 15,000 machines.
So where would they come from? Here is a look at some of the top manufacturers of ventilators, many of which have plants here in the United States.