President Donald Trump on Thursday said he wanted the United States to be the worlds number one medical manufacturer, as he encouraged the reopening of America and praised automaker Ford during a visit to one of its plants in Michigan.
Trump visited Ypsilanti, outside Detroit, to tour a Ford plant that has partly converted to manufacturing ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) amid the pandemic caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, a novel coronavirus from Wuhan, China. Earlier in the day, Trump held a roundtable discussion with African American leaders to talk about vulnerable populations hit by the CCP virus.
“Today, Im declaring a simple but vital national goal: The United States will be the worlds premier pharmacy, drugstore, and medical manufacturer,” the president said in a speech at the plant. “Were bringing our medicines back and many other things too.”
“We must produce critical equipment, supplies, pharmaceuticals, technologies for ourselves,” Trump added. “We cannot rely on foreign nations to take care of us, especially in times of difficulty.”
Trump said that the global CCP virus pandemic has “proven once and for all that to be a strong nation, America must be a manufacturing nation.”
“True national independence requires economic independence,” Trump said. “From day one, Ive been fighting to bring back our jobs from China and many other countries.”
At the Ford plant, the president praised the company for its hard work, patriotism, and talent in manufacturing ventilators and PPE for medical personnel and first responders.
“Because of the virus, Ford was forced to stop automobile production for the first time since World War Two,” Trump said. “Thats something. But you did not despair. Your company leadership called up the White House and asked the most American of all questions: How can we help?'”
The United States is now, in part thanks to Fords effort, in a position to help other countries with ventilators and other equipment, Trump said.
“Thanks to you, well stockpile over 100,000 new ventilators in the next few months,” he said. “And Ive offered over 14,000 [ventilators] to friends and allies all around the world, and they desperately need them. Just this week, I spoke to five countries. They call me—is it possible to get ventilators to them. And Im sending them over.”
“America is very proud of Ford. Right here at the Rawsonville Component Plant, youre building a great medical arsenal to defeat the virus and cement Americas place as the leading manufacturer and exporter of ventilators anywhere in the world,” Trump said.
Ford in late March said it planned to start production of some 50,000 ventilators on April 20 and was set to deploy 500 United Auto Workers (UAW) union employees.
Trump praised multiple automakers including Ford, General Motors, General Electric, and Fiat Chrysler, for “blazing a trail to safely restart Americas economic engines,” and continued to call for a reopening of America.
“You are demonstrating that we can open our country while taking precautions like social distancing, daily medical screenings, strict hygiene,” he said.