President Donald Trump’s decision to attack General Motors last week reportedly “stunned” executives in the company — and has now made other companies wary of taking on projects to help combat the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the New York Times, GM and its partner company Ventec had been working for weeks on figuring out how to mass produce ventilators that hospitals could use to keep COVID-19 patients alive.
Despite this, Trump still publicly lashed out at GM for not producing ventilators, despite the fact that he had never even ordered them to do so by invoking the Defense Production Act.
“GM executives were furious Mr. Trump would attack the company after it had made so much progress in a week and the administration had earlier been supportive of their effort,” the Times writes.
Trump’s attacks on GM have also had a chilling effect when it comes to other companies who were at one point willing to join in the fight.
“Mr. Trump’s Twitter posts appear to have unnerved other corporate leaders,” the Times reports. “A person familiar with the Stop the Spread campaign said that several corporate executives who had been willing to contribute to the effort earlier had backed away for fear of ending up becoming targets for Mr. Trump.”