Elon Musk Buys Chinese Ventilators to Support US COVID-19 Response

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, purchased 1255 FDA-approved ResMed, Philips & Medtronic ventilators from China and donated them to the state of California to treat those suffering severe symptoms of the COVID-19 virus.

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Musk tweeted the announcement, also saying that China had an oversupply of the technology. He had previously discussed on Twitter using the resources of Telsa and SpaceX to produce ventilators should there be a shortage in the United States. In a follow up, Musk thanked Tesla’s China team, China Customs Authority & LAX customs for acting so swiftly in a time of a crisis. The ventilators arrived in Los Angelos, California.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom praised Musk’s efforts, describing it in a press conference as a “heroic effort”. The emergency ventilator provision from Musk follows President Trump’s announcement that large US automakers like General Motors and Ford were also volunteering to produce ventilators given their importance to COVID-19 care.

A February 2020 report from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security warned of insufficient US ventilator capacity, “The need for ventilation services during a severe pandemic could quickly overwhelm these day-to-day operational capabilities.” The American Hospital Association has estimated that 960,000 Americans could need to rely on ventilators to breathe during the COVID-19 pandemic.