Press Claims Tesla Never Delivered Ventilators, Elon Musk Calls Them out on Fake News
Tesla CEO Elon Musk seems to be dealing with false news stories in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic we're in. Previously, a story by the Financial Times had claimed Tesla had delivered the wrong kind of ventilator for coronavirus patients, rendering them useless. Afterwards, these claims were deemed false by the New York State Governor Cuomo and New York hospitals.
Now, first reported by Sacramento Bee, CNN has reported that more than 1,000 ventilators sent by Tesla to California hospitals hadn't been received by hospitals. Apparently, a spokesperson for the California governor's Office of Emergency Services told CNN on Wednesday, "The Administration is communicating every day with hospitals across the state about their ventilator supply and to date we have not heard of any hospital system that has received a ventilator directly from Tesla or Musk."
However, Musk was quick to follow up and debunk the fake news by calling CNN out. He wrote, "What I find most surprising is that CNN still exists."
What I find most surprising is that CNN still exists— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 16, 2020
UPDATE April 16, 2:24 PM EDT: CNN reporters 'weigh in' with reply to Musk
Hours later, a CNN Business writer Jackie Wattles replied to Musk's tweet (posted below), in defense of the publication's claim that Musk's promised ventilators weren't delivered.
Hey, I just wanted to weigh in to say that CNN reporters (including me) have reached out to Tesla multiple times to ask about ventilators over the past several weeks, and we never got a response. This latest story reports what Gov. Newsom said.https://t.co/wsVkc3w0W4— Jackie Wattles (@jackiewattles) April 16, 2020
"I just wanted to weigh in to say that CNN reporters (including me) have reached out to Tesla multiple times to ask about ventilators over the past several weeks," Wattles began, in her tweet. "...we never got a response. The latest story reports what Gov. Newsom said."
While CNN, or California Gov. Newsom, may be misinformed, it seems CNN was reportedly following the governor's lead, who has as of yet made no public comment on the matter.
Elon Musk cites email exchanges between Tesla, Calif.
Musk's earlier tweet shows an email exchange between Omead Afshar, Tesla's Project Director, and Phillip Franks, who is the Director of System Operations and Support Services at the Los Angeles Country Department of Health Services.
When asked about whether the ventilators went into use, Franks answers "They worked great during testing today. We will put these to use tomorrow. Thanks."
Musk also tagged Governor Gavin Newsom in one of his tweets, asking him to "please fix this misunderstanding".
.@GavinNewsom please fix this misunderstanding— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 16, 2020
Newsom hasn't made any statements yet.
Tesla CEO followed these tweets by retweeting numerous people and hospitals thanking him for the promised-and-delivered goods.
For example, this retweet shows Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital's tweet, located in Los Angeles California thanking Musk, which tells a completely different story from the other media outlets.
He also referred to Medtronic, a global healthcare and biomedical engineering company, saying "it also affirming [their] help".
He summarized the event in one of his most recent tweets, saying "I literally have the receipts!! This is so dumb."
I literally have the receipts!! This is so dumb. 🤣🤣— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 16, 2020
Elon Musk has also shared the list of hospitals to which Tesla sent ventilators:
Editor's Note: This article is part of a breaking story, with several changes made throughout to reflect the current status. Be sure to return here for the latest developments.