Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims the company will make ventilators for hospitals "if there is a shortage."
The comment came as a reply to one Twitter user's suggestion for Tesla to repurpose its Fremont factory to make ventilators in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
The ventilators Musk is referring to are likely mechanical ventilators that are used in treating critical COVID-19. There's currently good indication that the U.S. doesn't have enough ventilators to cater to all infected persons. The Society of Critical Care Medicine estimates that 960,000 people may need to be put on ventilators, and the U.S. only has about 200,000 of them.
Musk later clarified that making these ventilators in Tesla factories is possible but may require time. "Tesla makes cars with sophisticated HVAC systems. SpaceX makes spacecraft with life support systems. Ventilators are not difficult, but cannot be produced instantly," he tweeted.
The conversation is related to the partial closure of Tesla's Fremont factory due to shelter-in-place orders in Alameda County, California, where the factory is located. After negotiations with the Sheriff's Office, Tesla was allowed to operate with one fourth of its workforce, and under the assumption that no vehicles will be manufactured in the factory.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has repeatedly stated that the coronavirus panic is more dangerous than that the virus itself. On Tuesday, he tweeted that the "danger of panic still far exceeds the danger of corona imo." Last week, he tweeted "the coronavirus panic is dumb."
COVID-19 – the disease caused by coronavirus – has so far killed more than 8,600 and infected more than 207,000 people. The outbreak has been worsening in the U.S. in recent weeks, with more than 8,700 confirmed cases and 149 deaths.
UPDATE: Thursday, March 19, 10:01 a.m. ET:
It looks like New York City mayor Bill de Blasio is willing to take Musk up on his offer.
Source: https://mashable.com/article/elon-musk-ventilators-coronavirus/?europe=true with