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Trump: American auto companies are asked to manufacture respirators.

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Friday asked automakers Ford and General Motors to start manufacturing artificial respirators to help relieve the growing pressure on hospitals to care for Covid-19 patients.

"General Motors must immediately open the Lords Town factory that stupidly abandoned it in Ohio, or another factory, and start manufacturing respirators, now!" Trump said in a tweet on Twitter.

He also added, "Ford, now go into the ventilator industry, quickly!"

According to the New York Times, the White House was planning this week to announce a joint project between General Motors and Ventic Life Systems to manufacture about 80,000 artificial respirators, as several regions of the country suffer from a severe shortage of machines needed to help Covid-19 patients breathe. But the project announcement was canceled at the last minute due to its cost of $ 1 billion, according to The Times.

On Friday, however, Trump promised to provide more artificial respiration.

"We just bought a lot of respirators from several good companies," he said in a separate tweet on Twitter.

He also added that "the names and numbers will be announced at a later time."

New York State Governor Andrew Como, severely affected by the epidemic, repeated his calls to the federal government to provide more respirators to be able to deal with the needs of patients as the infection spreads.

Como said he expects the pandemic will not peak in the state for another three weeks.

Contrary to what he said in his tweet on Friday, Trump considered Thursday in a statement to Fox News that Kuomo's comments were exaggerated.

"I don't believe you will need 40 or 30,000 artificial respirators," he said at the time.

He also added, surprisingly, "You go to major hospitals sometimes and find that they have two respirators, now suddenly they say can we order 30,000 devices?"