As the number of COVID-19 cases skyrocket around the country, GM’s President, Mark Reuss, has expressed concern over both the economic toll and the human impact of the pandemic.
“I just worry about everybody, I really do,” Reuss said, per a new report report from Reuters, which cites statements the GM executive made during a a recent Reuters Events broadcast. “I worry about that every day and every night.”
“I’m so worried about it because it’s accelerating and it’s not being contained,” he added.
General Motors halted North American production operations in March following a surge of COVID-19 cases in the United States. Full-capacity production operations did not resume until several months after the initial shutdown. In addition to a production shutdown, GM employees were hit with wide-ranging salary cuts as well.
“I think the industry in general and General Motors has done a good job in our plants,” Reuss said. “But I really worry about people, the death, the suffering and the unemployment that goes along with this pandemic.”
When General Motors’ production operations started to come back online in May, the automaker implemented a raft of new safety procedures to curb the spread of COVID-19, as outlined in a 40-page Safety Playbook distributed to employees. Precautions included things like wearing a face mask, hand sanitization, and social distancing measures.
“But I worry that in places that are very different from the United States, Canada or Mexico that a relaxation of some of these (practices) would hurt the supply chain and have us not be able to run our plants,” Reuss said. “I know everybody is doing the best they can but we have to keep that up.”
Earlier this week, it was announced that some production shifts had been cancelled as a result of a parts shortage stemming from supply issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Affected plants included the GM Arlington facility in Texas, which produces GM’s line of full-size SUVs, and the GM Bowling Green facility in Kentucky, which produces the Chevrolet Corvette C8.