July 6, 2020
Elon Musk says Tesla's New York factory is making ventilators 'as soon as humanly possible'

Elon Musk says Tesla’s New York factory is making ventilators ‘as soon as humanly possible’


Elon Musk  is looking to help out with New York’s ventilator shortage.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

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Days after offering 1,255 free ventilators to help deal with the coronavirus outbreak, Tesla boss Elon Musk said the company’s New York factory will restart to make more. In the meantime, it’s helping medical device companies get their life-saving devices to the state’s hospitals.

“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,” he tweeted on March 25. An aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo later said that Tesla would make one part of the ventilator.

Giga New York is Tesla’s plant in Buffalo, which makes photovoltaic cells for Tesla’s solar-panel subsidiary SolarCity.

Musk was replying to a follower who tweeted a video of Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak telling CNBC that Tesla is making one of the medical device company’s ventilators at its factory in Fremont, California. A day later, Musk told another follower that his company would start delivering Resmed, Philips and Medtronic ventilators to New York hospitals that evening.

On Sunday, April 5, an aide to Gov. Cuomo said Tesla was manufacturing one part of the ventilator, not the entire machine. What’s more, the company hasn’t delivered those parts yet, the aide, Melissa DeRosa, said at a press conference with the Governor and other aides.

“They’re trying to ramp up to get up and running as soon as possible,” DeRosa said, “but nothing’s materialized yet.” Tesla didn’t immediately respond to a request to confirm DeRosa’s remarks.

The new strain of coronavirus, which can develop into a respiratory illness known as COVID-19, was discovered in Wuhan, China, in December and has spread worldwide in the months since. As of Thursday, it had infected more than 1 million people and caused more than 36,000 deaths globally.

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Ventilators are vital in treating the illness, but Cuomo said last week that the city — which is the US epicenter of the virus — got 400 of them from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, when it needs 30,000.

Tesla didn’t respond to a request for further comment.

First published March 26.

CNET’s Laura Hautala contributed to this report.

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