Elon Musk has announced that he and his companies have access to additional FDA-approved ventilators that can be shipped worldwide free of charge using Tesla’s delivery network. The announcement comes amidst requests for ventilators from medical facilities across the country and in foreign territories currently dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.
Ventilators are used to aid COVID-19 patients who are in need of assistance when breathing. Still, there has been a reported shortage in units as the number of infected cases continues to grow. This is especially prominent in hotspots such as New York, as well as in countries such as Italy.
“We have extra FDA-approved ventilators. Will ship to hospitals worldwide within Tesla delivery regions. Device & shipping cost are free. Only requirement is that the vents are needed immediately for patients, not stored in a warehouse. Please [let] me or @Tesla know,” Musk tweeted on Tuesday.
Musk has served as a notable piece in solving the ongoing ventilator shortage in the United States amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 23, Musk donated over 1,200 ventilators to the city of Los Angeles. Musk purchased the ventilators from China after the country had an oversupply of ResMed, Philips, and Medtronic brand machines. The ventilators were air shipped and delivered to the city free of charge.
Musk’s effort to provide cities in need went far outside of his home state of California. On March 27, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio reported that a late-night conversation with Musk during the prior evening resulted in the Tesla and SpaceX CEO donating hundreds of additional ventilators to the state, including the region’s public hospitals. “We’re deeply grateful,” de Blasio added. “We need every ventilator we can get our hands on these next few weeks to save lives.”
Tesla’s vehicle production facility in Fremont, California, and its Giga New York solar production plant in Buffalo, NY, are both expected to be utilized for the manufacture of ventilators. “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,” Musk announced on Twitter following a request from NY state officials.
Tesla is expected to begin manufacturing Medtronic ventilators soon. Medtronic’s CEO Omar Ishrak announced on CNBC‘s “Squawk on the Street” that Tesla was working swiftly toward the development and eventual manufacture of the company’s PB 980 ventilator, the company’s highest-volume product.
Together with the use of Tesla’s production facilities as potential sites for ventilator production, Elon Musk’s efforts at helping the public during the ongoing pandemic has shown that the CEO and his companies are willing to step forward when the situation calls for it. The fact that the recently-announced batch of ventilators will be free of charge and delivered for free using Tesla’s network is just icing on the cake.