The current national emergency is not like those the country has managed through before.
The auto industry is rightfully proud of its role in World War II — and even in the wake of 9/11. But this is a different kind of battle against a different kind of enemy. The front lines are in hospitals and clinics, where nurses and doctors and other staffers bravely tend to those who are or may be infected with this deadly, flu-like virus. And many face a shortage of basic gear such as masks and gloves.
Just as it has in other calamities, the auto industry can and will help. General Motors, Ford and others are already preparing to aid in the manufacture of much-needed ventilators vital to keeping alive those suffering the harshest effects from coronavirus infection.
This “Arsenal of Health” response, as some have taken to calling it, harks back to the vital role the American auto industry played in helping the Allies to victory in World War II. Tooling up and spooling up production of…