Tesla CEO Elon Musk offers 1,255 free ventilators to support COVID-19 fight

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Hopefully, Musk follows through.

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Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk offered 1,255 ventilators for free on Monday to help the fight against COVID-19, the disease the coronavirus causes.

“China had an oversupply, so we bought 1255 FDA-approved ResMed, Philips & Medtronic ventilators on Friday night & airshipped them to LA. If you want a free ventilator installed, please let us know!” Musk tweeted, offering praise to Tesla’s China team as well as Chinese and US customs officials.

Ventilators are a crucial tool in treating COVID-19, which can cause respiratory problems.

Also, Clean Technica reported Saturday after speaking with Musk that the automaker has 250,000 N95 masks ready to distribute to hospitals. The automaker didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

Musk didn’t say anything about making ventilators at Tesla or SpaceX, the rocket company Musk also leads. Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist who holds numerous roles in the medical industry, told MSNBC on Friday he’d spoken with Musk, who floated a timeline of eight to 10 weeks before its plant could produce ventilators. President  Donald Trump also mentioned Tesla as one of three automakers given the “go ahead to make ventilators.”

Neither GM nor Ford have confirmed they’ll retool for ventilator production, though GM said Friday it will partner with Ventec on ventilator production. The automaker plans to lend its logistics and manufacturing expertise in a partnership to ramp up production of ventilators.

Musk also tweeted he spoke with Medtronic about ventilator production, which the company confirmed in its own statement on Twitter.

Many medical professionals are worried about a lack of protective gear, especially N95 face masks. And as COVID-19 case numbers grow in the US, many also fear there may be a shortage of ventilators to help severely ill patients breathe, based on what we’ve seen in Italy and elsewhere. President Trump last week signed the Defense Production Act, which lets him direct private companies to produce essential medical equipment, but has so far declined to force companies to act.

First published 7:35 a.m. PT.

Update, 8:44 p.m. PT: Adds information from Musk about buying ventilators and offering them free.

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source: cnet.com