Trump Today: Trump calls powers to order coronavirus supplies ‘in gear’ as Pence says more masks on way

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President Donald Trump says he spoke to General Motors about making supplies for those affected by the coronavirus.

President Donald Trump on Friday said he is using emergency powers to get medical supplies to those affected by the coronavirus epidemic, going a step further than he did earlier this week.

Trump said the Defense Production Act is now “in gear,” after having previously said he would use it as needed.

The Korean War-era act authorizes the commander-in-chief to force industries to produce goods.

Trump spoke at a White House briefing, where he was joined by Vice President Mike Pence and other members of the coronavirus task force. Pence said there would be a “major procurement from the federal government of N95 masks” announced over the weekend.

The president said companies were voluntarily making supplies, but he told reporters he had asked General Motors GM, +5.31%   to contribute, saying automakers want to make ventilators. He did not name other companies.

GM has said it is “exploring” making ventilators.

Friday, 3M Co. MMM, -5.04%   said it had doubled global production of N95 masks and plans to continue to expand amid concerns about dwindling supplies of the respirator masks for health workers treating COVID-19 patients.

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