Featured Image Source: SSM Health Wisconsin via Twitter
Entire cities across the United States have been under ‘lockdown’ as a countermeasure to decrease the probability of spreading COVID-19, a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus strain. The worldwide coronavirus outbreak has caused personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturers to struggle to keep up with so much demand. Hospitals are experiencing a shortage of protective equipment, and are often reusing contaminated masks. Medical personnel voiced their concerns over the shortage that makes them ill-equipped to properly take care of patients.
SpaceX, the aerospace company founded by Elon Musk, announced in late March they were in the process of manufacturing face shields to donate to hospitals across the United States. The company initially donated its first batch of 75 face shields to Cedars Sinai Medical Center, near the SpaceX facility in Hawthorne, California.
SpaceX has now manufactured a batch of 300 face shields which have been donated to SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. Last week, April 23, a SpaceX employee delivered the face shields directly to the hospital. Medical personnel from St. Mary’s Madison thanked SpaceX and Musk via a Twitter post for the donation:
“Some of the face shields protecting St. Mary’s Hospital – Madison employees come from a well-known aerospace manufacturer. SpaceX made these face shields for health care companies, and the hospital received a donation of 300 late last week. Thanks Elon Musk for thinking of us!”
Some of the face shields protecting St. Mary’s Hospital – Madison employees come from a well-known aerospace manufacturer. @SpaceX made these face shields for health care companies, and the hospital received a donation of 300 late last week. Thanks @elonmusk for thinking of us! pic.twitter.com/d2gX8EqDQc— SSM Health Wisconsin (@ssmhealthwi) April 23, 2020
Some COVID-19 patients require ventilators for survival. Ventilator manufacturers have struggled to keep up with worldwide demand. Musk's companies, SpaceX and Tesla have been collaborating with Medtronic to ramp up ventilator production since late-March. Engineers at SpaceX have been manufacturing vital valve components needed for ventilator production. Tesla, is collaborating by building ventilators, some have already been donated to hospitals from around the world.
Medtronic chairman and CEO Omar Ishrak says its partnership with SpaceX is "extremely important," as the rocket builder is using its "expertise in valve production" to make a "critical component" for ventilators.— Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) April 6, 2020
"SpaceX is helping us multiply the number of such devices." pic.twitter.com/hxkDLgKqbN