New York Needs Both Ventilator Types From Elon Musk to Fight COVID-19

Earlier reports from Financial Times claimed Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent the wrong ventilator to New York hospitals flooded with COVID-19 patients. Not so.
Brad Bergan

Tesla CEO Elon Musk rebutted a claim made in a story published in the Financial Times on Thursday that claimed Tesla had delivered the wrong kind of ventilator for coronavirus patients, in a tweet made later that day. According to statements made by New York State Governor Cuomo and New York hospitals, both kinds of ventilators are needed.


Governor Cuomo asked Elon Musk for both ventilators to help COVID-19 patients

Earlier on Thursday, the Financial Times published a story arguing that Tesla had delivered noninvasive ventilators used for people with sleep apnea instead of the invasive ventilators severe coronavirus patients need to survive a case of COVID-19.

"[A]ll hospitals were given exact specifications of Resmed & Philips ventilators before delivery & all confirmed they would be critical," rebutted Musk.

While severe cases of coronavirus infection require invasive ventilators (in short supply in hospitals globally), Governor Cuomo of New York State had specifically requested both kinds of ventilators, as is shown in the tweet to which Musk replied.

Musk also elaborated on the perceived mixup in further tweets.

"Invasive ventilators are for worst case patients. Survival rate at that point is low, as Gov Cuomo has pointed out. Nonetheless, we start delivery of intratracheal Medtronic units in NYC tonight."

Both kinds of ventilators are needed; it just so happens that the noninvasive ones arrived first. The other kind of (intratracheal or invasive) ventilators will make it to New York hospitals tonight, according to Musk's tweet.

Tesla to deliver both kinds of ventilators

This serve-and-return between the Financial Times and Tesla CEO Elon Musk came on the heels of Musk's previous tweet, in which he promised free worldwide delivery of FDA-approved ventilators to hospitals flooded with coronavirus patients.

As countries around the world brace for world-historical spikes of serious COVID-19 cases, tech leaders like Elon Musk and Bill Gates are leading the fight to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Everyone is under a lot of pressure, but during an epidemic, it seems better for a good deed to be misreported, than it would have been if miscommunication had led to additional shortages.

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