Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn could use its Wisconsin factory to build ventilators needed to treat COVID-19 patients, according to the CEO of a medical hardware company that designs and makes ventilators.
Omar Ishrak, the CEO of Ireland-based Medtronic, told CNBC hosts Monday that Foxconn was one of several companies looking at manufacturing the company’s ventilators.
“We plan to make together with them ventilators within the next four to six weeks,” Ishrak said. “We’re working 24/7 with Foxconn to bring this up to the factory in Wisconsin.”
Foxconn confirmed through a spokeswoman that it is working with Medtronic to begin manufacturing ventilators.
“The medical and technical experts from both our companies are working closely to fast-track the research and development and production processes so additional ventilators can be quickly produced to fight the current global pandemic,” the company said. “We would like to extend our gratitude to our founder Mr. Terry Gou for his help in facilitating this partnership with Medtronic and his contribution, based on his previous experience in the healthcare business, to this collaboration.”
A spokesman for Medtronic declined to comment further on the project.
Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. CEO and Secretary Missy Hughes did not have any more details on the plan.
Medtronic has also made design specifications for ventilators available online for free.
“It is our responsibility to make sure we do everything we can to save every single life out there in every way we can,” Ishrak said.
In 2017, Foxconn pledged to build a $10 billion, 20-million-square-foot campus in southeast Wisconsin and create 13,000 jobs over 15 years in return for $3 billion in state tax credits. The company has fallen short of minimum job requirements in the past.
The Racine Journal Times reported last month that construction on the campus is continuing in Mount Pleasant amid the pandemic.
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