Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced he would reopen his firm’s New York factory to begin producing ventilators earlier this week. The electric car maker is collaborating with Irish company Medtronic to manufacture more life-saving medical devices.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said his state’s biggest city needs 30,000 breathing machines on Wednesday.
Tesla’s Commitment to Producing Ventilators
On March 18, Musk tweeted that his company would use its Gigafactory to manufacture ventilators in the event of a shortage. A day later, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio replied that they had a “drastic shortage” of breathing machines and would appreciate his help.
The billionaire agreed to take action to help America’s largest urban center, revealing he has had conversations with Medtronic about the engineering involved in the company’s ventilators.
Musk promised that Tesla’s New York-based production facility would reopen to begin making breathing machines “as soon as humanly possible.” Both the New York and California Gigafactories have suspended operations in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown.
On Thursday, Musk tweeted that his car company had been working with Medtronic to start making ventilators. He also revealed he would be donating breathing machines made by Medtronic, Phillips, and Resmed to New York-area hospitals.
Tesla has also provided the UCLA Medical Center with a truckload of personal protective equipment (PPE) and dispatched 50,000 N95 masks to the University of Washington School of Medicine. Musk also said he bought 1,255 FDA-approved respirators and had them air shipped to Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Dyson’s New Ventilators
Musk isn’t the only billionaire inventor to take direct action in dealing with the ventilator shortage. Dyson founder James Dyson announced his company has built and designed a new breathing machine called the CoVent. The executive explained his corporation crafted the device to “address the specific needs” of patients living with COVID-19.
Dyson also said the CoVent would be “manufactured quickly, efficiently, and at volume.”
The vacuum and hand dryer company got to work on its latest innovation after receiving an order for 10,000 ventilators from Britain’s National Health Service. Dyson noted his firm created its new ventilator only 10 days after receiving a call from U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The inventor also stated his Dyson would have the medical devices ready by early April.
Dyson’s company will donate an additional 5,000 CoVents to aid in the international fight against the coronavirus.
As billionaires, both Elon Musk and James Dyson have the resources to wait out the coronavirus pandemic in comfort. But they’ve chosen instead to spend their time and energy on providing life-saving medical equipment for those in need. In a time of global crisis and uncertainty, their displays of basic human decency are inspiring.