General Motors has signed a deal to provide 30,000 ventilators to the U.S. government for $490 million, the Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday. The order is due to be completed by the end of August, months after the peak need for ventilators.The agency said it expects GM to deliver more than 6,000 ventilators to the Strategic National Stockpile of medical devices by June 1. The mechanical breathing devices are needed to treat a wave of coronavirus patients expected to overwhelm hospitals in coming weeks. The cost per ventilator made by GM is about $17,000.“We’re grateful to the GM team for working with the federal government to expand our nation’s supply of ventilators as the pandemic evolves,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.“We will continue to explore ways to help in this time of crisis,” GM CEO Mary Barra said in a statement Wednesday.The contract between GM and the government is the latest development in a weeks-long effort by U.S. automakers to change their automotive production lines into ventilator factories. General Motors has partnered with Washington-based Ventec, a relative newcomer to the industry, to mass-produce the devices in a GM plant in Indiana. Ford is partnering

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