Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly plans ventilator production to support COVID-19 fight – Roadshow

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Hopefully, Musk follows through.

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Tesla is gearing up to build ventilators as private industries work to help support the fight against COVID-19, the disease the coronavirus causes.

Clean Technica reported Saturday after speaking with Musk that the automaker has 250,000 N95 masks ready to distribute to hospitals. Further, the Tesla CEO reportedly said his company will have over 1,000 ventilators ready by next week. Roadshow was unable to verify the comments and the automaker did not immediately return a request for comment.

Three sources did, however, mention speaking with Tesla or Musk regarding ventilator production. Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist who holds numerous roles in the medical industry, mentioned to MSNBC on Friday he’d spoken with Musk, who floated a timeline of eight to 10 weeks before its plant could produce ventilators. President 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 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.

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