Elon Musk has shared the first image of a Medtronic ventilator unit from Tesla being used in a hospital facility in New York, an area that has become recognized as the US epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis.
Musk’s announcement comes only a week after Medtronic’s CEO Omar Ishrak confirmed that Tesla was among one of the company’s partners in ramping up the production of ventilators.
“We’re also opening up with other partners who have come forward. Tesla is one that I think people have heard about. One of our ventilators will be made by them, and they’re fast on track to make that as well,” said Ishrak.
First Medtronic units from Tesla getting installed in NY metro area. These are for worst case situations. pic.twitter.com/xyFRZwv1M7
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 4, 2020
Musk took to Twitter Friday evening to discuss the latest developments in Tesla’s bid to donate thousands of ventilators in the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 virus. “First Medtronic units from Tesla getting installed in NY metro area. These are for worst case situations,” Musk tweeted.
Ventilators are a vital piece of medical equipment when it comes to treating patients that are infected with COVID-19. However, there has been an overwhelming shortage of machines in the United States, especially in high population areas like Los Angeles and New York City. Medtronics has quadrupled their output of devices, but there are still plenty of patients who are left untreated, as the amount of coronavirus cases continues to rise day by day.
Musk has made a conscious effort to provide areas in need with ventilators. On March 23, he donated over 1,200 ventilators to the city of Los Angeles. These machines were purchased on Musk’s behalf from China, a country that had an excess amount of ventilators. They were donated free of charge, and Musk made it clear that he would not accept any sort of compensation for them; he simply wanted to help hospitals in his city of residence fight the influx of cases that had affected the area. Additional units were sent to hospitals in New York City just a few days later.
Also, Musk stated he would be willing to ship ventilators worldwide, free of charge, as long as the hospital could immediately utilize the machines. “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 March 31.
The installation of the new, critical care-capable machines will help treat COVID-19 cases that are more severe. Not only could this save numerous lives, but it could also lead to the beginning of the end of the coronavirus pandemic as we know it.