SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — President Donald Trump issued an order under the Defense Production Act directing the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services to facilitate the supply of materials needed for six companies to produce ventilators amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including San Diego-based ResMed Inc.
Thursday's order came amid shortages of ventilators and other medical supplies at hospitals across the country.
Trump said the order would "remove obstacles in the supply chain" and help the manufacturers "secure the supplies they need to build ventilators needed to save American lives. I am grateful to these and other domestic manufacturers for ramping up their production of ventilators during this difficult time."
Other companies referenced in the order were General Electric, Hill- Rom, Medtronic, Royal Phillips and Vyaire Medical.
"ResMed is pleased to see the White House prioritize access to critical ventilator components, enabling not only ResMed but all industry- leading ventilator manufacturers to speed up both production and delivery of lifesaving devices to patients who need them most," a company statement read. "Again, we encourage automakers, aerospace equipment producers, and other non- ventilation manufacturers to help us source or create more of these components, strengthening the supply chain that all ventilator makers are drawing from to help meet this rising global demand and save lives."
ResMed announced plans last week to exponentially increase its production of ventilators amid the pandemic, with ResMed CEO Mick Farrell saying, "We are looking to double or triple the output of ventilators, and scale up ventilation mask production more than tenfold."
Editor's Note: A version of this story posted Thursday incorrectly stated the president's order directed ResMed to facilitate the supply of ventilator materials; the order was to the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services.
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According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person. Coronavirus is believed to have been first detected in a seafood market in Wuhan, China in December 2019. If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing.
Currently, there is no vaccine, however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, as with any other respiratory illness:
Know how it spreads:
There is no vaccine
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus
It is thought to spread mainly from person-person between people in close contact
And believed to be spread by respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes
Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds
If soap and water aren't available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Put distance between yourselves and others
Stay home when you are sick
Wear a facemask if you are sick
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
If you don't have tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow
Immediately wash your hands after coughing and sneezing
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
You can find information on disinfecting and cleaning on the CDC's How to Protect Yourself page.
The California Department of Public Health has issued guidance on the use of cloth face coverings to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
The County of San Diego has made face coverings mandatory for those working with the public including grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and similar businesses.
While officials say these face coverings are not a substitute for practices like social distancing and handwashing, there is evidence to suggest that the use of cloth face coverings by the public during a pandemic could help reduce disease transmission. Officials do not recommend the public use N-95 or surgical masks which are needed by health care workers and first responders.