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Elon Musk Offers To Make Ventilators To Help Address Coronavirus Outbreak

by Ma. Claribelle Deveza March 18, 2020

Elon Musk Offers To Make Ventilators To Help Address Coronavirus Outbreak

Elon Musk has offered to make ventilators in the event of a shortage due to the ongoing C19 pandemic. The CEO’s update was posted on his personal Twitter account Wednesday night, following a conversation with the chief executive of Ethos Clinic and author Nate Silver, both of whom described the ongoing ventilator shortage in medical facilities today.

Amidst the global pandemic, hospitals across the globe are at risk of being overloaded. COVID-19 attacks the lungs, and thus, ventilators are needed to assist the breathing of those who are affected by the virus. This is an issue that threatens not only hospitals in the United States, but in other countries as well.

This is something addressed by Tesla owner and Ethos Clinic CEO Raja Abbas on Twitter, who called on Elon Musk to repurpose a factory to make ventilators as soon as possible. Responding to the request, Musk stated that “We will make ventilators if there is a shortage.” 

This sentiment was echoed in a response to author Nate Silver, who asked how many ventilators will be produced by Musk’s companies. The CEO noted that both Tesla and SpaceX have production facilities that could be pertinent for the task, as the former makes sophisticated HVAC systems, and the latter makes life support systems for spacecraft. Musk also inquired about which hospitals are having ventilator shortages right now.

“Tesla makes cars with sophisticated HVAC systems. SpaceX makes spacecraft with life support systems. Ventilators are not difficult, but cannot be produced instantly. Which hospitals have these shortages you speak of right now?” he wrote.

A report from The New York Times noted that New York would probably require around 18,000 ventilators soon, as a pandemic of C19’s nature will likely overwhelm the state’s medical infrastructure. Some ventilators makers have stated that they could increase production, but have yet to receive orders from the US government.

Amidst this, US automakers have offered to help close the gap between the lack of ventilator supply and demand for the machines. On Wednesday afternoon, GM CEO Mary Barra stated that empty factory spaces in the automaker's facilities could be utilized for ventilator production. Ford offered its help, too, stating that the company, being the largest producer of vehicles in the country, will be open to making ventilators for those in need. 

Featured Image Credit: Tesla




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