Ventec Life Systems staff show nursing staff at Franciscan Health Olympia Fields Hospital how to operate VOCSN critical care respirators Friday, April 17, 2020 in Olympia Fields, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. Franciscan received the first shipment of ventilators produced by General Motors and Ventec in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo for General Motors)

The first ventilators built by GM are now in hospitals.

The ventilators arrived inside of Franciscan Health Olympia Fields in Olympia Fields, Illinois this morning and Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago get theirs this afternoon. These deliveries from GM are just eight days after GM received a purchase order for the medical devices from the U.S government. A third shipment from GM’s-Kokomo facility will be delivered by UPS to FEMA at the Gary/Chicago International Airport on Saturday for distribution to other locations where the need is greatest.

VOCSN critical care ventilators are prepared for distribution Thursday, April 16, 2020, at the General Motors manufacturing facility in Kokomo, Indiana. GM and Ventec Life Systems are partnering to produce the ventilators in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by AJ Mast for General Motors)

The devices are Ventec Life Systems ventilators being built with assistance from GM under the Defense Production Act. GM began the process of building these machines weeks before the government or any other entity had placed an order. Despite starting on the work without any commitment from the government, GM still angered President Trump. The president was frustrated with what he termed wasted time. Given the amazing turnaround on these machines, it is pretty clear GM “moved Heaven and Earth” to complete the work without waiting for government paperwork to be completed.

Workers pack the first VOCSN critical care ventilators for shipping Thursday, April 16, 2020, from the General Motors manufacturing facility in Kokomo, Indiana. GM and Ventec Life Systems are partnering to produce the ventilators in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  (Photo by AJ Mast for General Motors)

Said White House Assistant to the President Dr. Peter Navarro: “Not only has GM/Ventec and the UAW set a new Trump Time standard in rapid industrial mobilization – just weeks from site construction to ventilator production – the GM/Ventec ventilators are now rolling off the line, and on the wings and tires of Big Brown-UPS. And through the seamless coordination of FEMA, these lifesaving devices are equally rapidly being delivered to hospitals in need in Chicago and Gary. A patriotic White House salute to the full power of private enterprise joining hands with the full force of the federal government to fight the invisible enemy!”

Workers pack the first VOCSN critical care ventilators for shipping Thursday, April 16, 2020, from the General Motors manufacturing facility in Kokomo, Indiana. GM and Ventec Life Systems are partnering to produce the ventilators in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by AJ Mast for General Motors)

“The passion and commitment that people at GM, Ventec and our suppliers have put into this work is inspiring, and we are all humbled to support the heroic efforts of medical professionals in Chicagoland and across the world who are fighting to save lives and turn the tide of the pandemic,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra.

A UPS truck transporting the first VOCSN critical care ventilators produced at the General Motors manufacturing facility in Kokomo, Indiana, departs for Franciscan Health Olympia Fields Hospital in Illinois, Thursday, April 16, 2020.

“For a community hospital that was already struggling with budgetary constraints prior to this crisis, these ventilators are a much-needed infusion of critical resources to care for our patients, which includes a significant elderly population,” said Mary Shehan, CEO of Weiss Memorial Hospital. “We are extremely grateful for the support and to all those who are rallying to ensure that our frontline caregivers have the necessary supplies to care for our patients. We need all the help we can get now to rise to this unprecedented challenge.”

Ventec Life Systems staff show nursing staff at Franciscan Health Olympia Fields Hospital how to operate VOCSN critical care respirators Friday, April 17, 2020 in Olympia Fields, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. Franciscan received the first shipment of ventilators produced by General Motors and Ventec in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo for General Motors)