Elon Musk Says He Brought 1,255 Venitilators From China to Help in Coronavirus Response

Elon Musk is among those in the private sector doing what they can to aid in the response to the coronavirus pandemic, specifically when it comes to the shortage of ventilators. The SpaceX and Tesla founder, 48, tweeted on Monday that he recently procured 1,255 ventilators from China and had them shipped to the United States to help with hospital demands and relief efforts.

Musk wrote that China "had an oversupply, so we brought 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!" In another tweet, he thanked his Tesla team in China and customs for their help in the process. "Thanks Tesla China team, China Customs Authority & LAX customs for acting so swiftly."

His comments came just a few hours after California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in a press conference that Musk had followed through on his promise to deliver ventilators to hospitals treating patients diagnosed with COVID-19, calling the act "an heroic effort."

"Elon Musk: how about this? I told you a few days ago he was likely to have 1,000 ventilators this week," Newsom said. "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."

The World Health Organization has urged countries to "optimize the availability" of ventilators — which helps with breathing functions — as oxygen therapy "is the major treatment intervention for patents with severe Covid-19."

Previously, Musk had floated the idea of using his Tesla car factory to manufacture ventilators during the outbreak, tweeting last week, "We will make ventilators if there is a shortage."

The Society of Critical Care Medicine projects that 960,000 coronavirus patients in the U.S. will ultimately require the use of a ventilator during the health crisis. The organization also estimates that there are only 200,000 units available nationally.

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"The real issue is how to rapidly increase ventilator production when your need exceeds the supply," Dr. Lewis Kaplan, president of the critical care society, told The Associated Press last week. "For that I don't have a very good answer."

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