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VP Pence expresses gratitude to plant employees working on frontlines to combat COVID-19

Published: May. 1, 2020 at 9:20 PM CDT
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KOKOMO, Ind. (WFIE) - During his most recent visit to Indiana, Vice President Mike Pence got the chance to meet some of the people fighting on the frontlines in the battle against COVID-19.

“The ingenuity, the creativity, the hard work reflected in these hallways is a testament to each and every one of you," Pence said.

The Vice President had the opportunity to speak with the Secretary of Transportation, a Navy rear admiral and the CEOs of General Motors and Ventec on Thursday.

Meanwhile, he also met face to face with people like George Vandermeir. After more than 40 years with GM, Vandermeir delayed his retirement to work on this project.

“I’ve never been in a world war, but that’s kind of how I feel," Vandermeir said. "I feel like it’s wartime, and we’ve come together and we did something that was unprecedented that I’m sure people did not believe we could do.”

[VP Mike Pence visits Kokomo GM plant to highlight ventilator production]

Pence also spoke with men like Ventec engineer Andy Chapman, who helped ramp up a process that typically made hundreds of ventilators, to one that will make thousands of them.

“When I got here, I came in at (6 a.m.) and I didn’t leave until 3:30 in the morning," Chapman said. "You don’t do that kind of a thing if you don’t care about the things you’re doing.”

Finally, the Vice President met women like Micholeen Lynch, who was called back from indefinite layoff at GM to help out in this life-saving work.

“I put parts together, I’m part of it, but there has been so many people behind the scenes that have just ran with this, and I’m just very proud to be a part of this," Lynch said.

These men and women have produced 600 ventilators in less than a month. Their goal is to produce 30,000 ventilators by August.

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