How Tesla is providing medical supplies to help hospitals facing COVID-19

Elon Musk is transforming operations at both Tesla and SpaceX to be sure that hospitals facing the COVID-19 crisis have access to much-needed medical equipment including ventilators and masks. 

Flickr: cchana 

“We will make ventilators if there’s a shortage,” Elon Musk promised on Twitter. He added, "Tesla makes cars with sophisticated hvac systems. SpaceX makes spacecraft with life support systems. Ventilators are not difficult, but cannot be produced instantly. Which hospitals have these shortages you speak of right now?"

As a result, many on Twitter immediately responded including the Mayor of New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted to Elon in response, "New York City is buying! Our country is facing a drastic shortage and we need ventilators ASAP — we will need thousands in this city over the next few weeks. We’re getting them as fast as we can but we could use your help! We’re reaching out to you directly."

But it's not just NYC that Tesla will be helping. Musk told CleanTechnica, "We have 250k N95 masks. Aiming to start distributing those to hospitals tomorrow night. Should have over 1000 ventilators by next week.” 

Flickr: Daniel Oberhaus

And sure enough, it's already happening. The Seattle Times also reported that 50,000 N95 masks were delivered from Tesla to the home of a critical care doctor. “It was just so, so fast,” said Adams Waldorf, a physician at University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) who is starting a series of COVID-related research projects. “This donation from Tesla is incredible,” she explained.

In addition, UCLA shared news of a a batch of 50,000 N95 surgical masks from Tesla. UCLA Health tweeted, "Stronger together. Some much-needed supplies have arrived! Thank you Elon Musk and Tesla for your generosity and being a part of #TeamLA #coronavirus.”

Tesla responded via Twitter, "Glad we can help! We’re sending masks and supplies to as many hospitals as we can." Tesla's delivery to UCLA Health showcases how fast the company, and Elon Musk, are moving in response to this crisis. 

Twitter: UCLA Health

In addition, Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) just received a shipment of N-95 masks donated by Tesla. “We have thousands of doctors, nurses, and support staff who are on the front lines of this pandemic, taking care of patients," said Donna Lynne, DrPH, senior vice president and chief operating officer, CUIMC, and chief executive officer, ColumbiaDoctors. “Tesla's generosity will help them. We can't thank them enough.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom cited Tesla, along with Apple, as one of the companies helping with the crisis (see video below). In addition, a tweet from Trump also confirmed that America's automakers are cleared to help with the crisis: "Ford, General Motors and Tesla are being given the go ahead to make ventilators and other metal products." 

“Elon Musk: how about this? I told you a few days ago he was likely to have 1,000 ventilators this week,” California Governor Gavin Newsom told Bloomberg. “They arrived in Los Angeles and Elon Musk is already working with the hospital association and others to get those ventilators out in real time. It’s an heroic effort.”

YouTube: Los Angeles Times

Elon Musk elaborated via Twitter, "Yup, 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 added, "Thanks Tesla China team, China Customs Authority & LAX customs for acting so swiftly."

It turns out Tesla had previously connected with companies in the medical supplies space to expedite solutions. One of those companies, Medtronic, recently tweeted, "We are grateful for the discussion with @ElonMusk and @Tesla as we work across industries to solve problems and get patients and hospitals the tools they need to continue saving lives. We're all in this together."