VP Mike Pence visits Kokomo GM plant now making ventilators to fight coronavirus

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KOKOMO, Ind. – Vice President Mike Pence is back in Washington D.C. after his trip to Kokomo, Indiana Thursday. 

This isn’t the first time Pence has visited this GM plant in Kokomo. However, it is the first time he has seen this facility since its workers shifted to making ventilators to help patients with COVID-19. 

Around 12:50 p.m. Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb waited for Pence to land in Indiana wearing a face mask with the Indiana state flag on it. 

He took off the mask as he greeted the vice president getting off the plane. They both headed to General Motors in Kokomo shortly after.

“I must tell you, standing here in the Hoosier state and being among people who put together this plant in 17 days and produced the first ventilator in three days and in less than a month had produced more than 600 ventilators for the American people—I couldn’t be more inspired,” Pence said. 

General Motors partnered with Ventec Life systems to make 30,000 ventilators by the end of August. 

Pence put on a mask to tour GM and see its production first-hand. The VP said the company is helping the country accomplish an important mission. 

“You all are part of our nation’s mission. It’s a mission to make sure every American that’s struggling with the coronavirus has the same level of health care and treatment that we would want for any member of our family,” Pence said. 

After the tour, Pence took off his face mask during a roundtable discussion with GM and Ventec. 

Kokomo Mayor Tyler Moore proudly stood outside the plant during the tour. He said he’s grateful for the opportunity to bring over 1,000 employees back to work in Kokomo.

“This is definitely a bright spot in our economy with everything that’s been going on there is a lot of uncertainty,” Moore said. 

He says he hopes this work truly makes a difference in the fight against COVID-19. Pence says it already has. “Make no mistake about it, you all have a played a critical role in ensuring the fact that as of today, no American who has required a ventilator has been denied a ventilator anywhere in the United States.”

GM delivered the first batch of ventilators to Chicago hospitals last week. More than 6,000 are expected to be available by June.

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