A White House official announced Sunday that President Trump will visit the Ford Rawsonville Manufacturing Plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan on Thursday, May 21st, where the automaker is currently assembling ventilators in conjunction with GE Healthcare. The visit will mark the first time that President Trump has visited the state of Michigan since January 30th, prior to the coronavirus pandemic forcing the state’s Big Three automakers to idle vehicle production.
According to the White House official, President Trump will speak about the collaboration between Ford and General Electric’s healthcare division while he is at the Rawsonville plant. The automaker originally announced in March that it would work with GE Healthcare to produce 50,000 ventilators in Michigan over three months. Production began on April 20th.
In addition to producing ventilators, Ford has also been using its manufacturing prowess to make face masks, face shields, gowns, respirators, and other personal protection equipment that’s remained in high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The White House asked to visit Ford’s Rawsonville plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, as part of the president’s tour to thank businesses producing PPE and important medical equipment,” the Ford Motor Company said in a statement. “We’re proud to assemble more vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker and welcome Thursday’s visit as part of Ford’s longstanding history of hosting sitting presidents and senior government leaders.”
President Trump has already visited a handful of other U.S. facilities producing personal protective equipment to thank workers, including a Honeywell factory in Arizona making respirator masks. He also went to Pennsylvania on Thursday and toured a warehouse owned by Owens & Minor Inc., a medical equipment distribution company.
President Trump’s visit comes right on the heels of Ford reopening its U.S.-based plants for production, which commenced on Monday, May 18th. The automaker has created a new set of safety processes and protocols and an employee playbook, modified works areas, installed new hand-washing stations, and is arming its employees with PPE to help prevent the continued spread of COVID-19.