Elon Musk pledged that Giga New York would reopen to produce ventilators for the state, whose COVID-19 cases have reached an estimated 30,000—nearly 50% of the total cases within the United States. Medtronic—a global leader in medical technology—CEO Omar Ishrak announced that it would be working closely with Tesla to produce more ventilators.
Medtronic makes critical care ventilators which are in high demand right now, especially in New York, where Governor Andrew Cuomo believes the virus will reach its apex in about two weeks. The Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) estimated that the United States could have a little over 200,000 ventilators in its supply chain. However, not all of them may be useful in treating COVID-19 patients.
According to the SCCM, most patients that contract the virus are admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to treat severe respiratory failure. Hence the need for a ventilator. The total number of ventilators in the US include older models, which may not have all the features necessary to treat patients with severe respiratory failure adequately.
Giga New York will reopen for ventilator production as soon as humanly possible. We will do anything in our power to help the citizens of New York.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 25, 2020
So, it is imperative that medical supply companies, like Medtronic, must increase production capacity to manufacture new ventilators that are equipped to treat COVID-19 patients. Tesla’s Giga New York is arguably one of the best strategically-located factories for ventilator production. The EV automaker may also be the best prepared to handle such a time-sensitive situation.
As the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, it is essential to treat the cases within New York to keep the virus from spreading any further. Gov. Cuomo has already shared his concerns about Ford and GM’s ventilator production because New York is in a race against time right now.
“It does us no good if [GM and Ford] start to create a ventilator in three weeks, or four weeks, or five weeks. We’re looking at an apex of 14 days,” said the Governor of New York, reported CNBC.
Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak announced on CNBC this morning that they’ve already started working with @Tesla — and they’re fast on track to start production of ventilators at Fremont!— Viv 🐉 (@flcnhvy) March 25, 2020
Tesla 👏 team 👏 gets 👏 it 👏 done 👏 @elonmusk pic.twitter.com/AwMH2QkI59
Cuomo’s concerns may have some validity. All automakers who have volunteered to make ventilators will have to repurpose their factories in New York before starting production. Out of the three that have volunteered, however, Tesla may have the best shot at repurposing its factory on time.
Tesla is no stranger to adverse conditions against the clock. As a new company, it also has more practice with innovative ideas and creative solutions to get the job done.
Featured Image Credit: TeslaFollow @PurplePanda88