Elon Musk’s love for Twitter just fails to fade. The social media platform has witnessed an array of enunciations regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic by Elon Musk. And more often than not, the SpaceX/Tesla CEO has faced a considerable amount of criticism on the platform. Add to it his recent decision to continue operating the Tesla plant in Fremont despite government orders to halt production, and things have gone further south.
Amid all of this, seems like Musk finally tweeted something which went down well with the twitter populace. A user recently asked if he would use the Tesla Fremont plant to produce ventilators to help US’ over-burdened health system, deal with the Coronavirus pandemic.
To this, Musk responded with “we will make ventilators if there is a shortage”.
Fivethirtyeight editor in chief Nate Silver said that there is a shortage to which the Tesla CEO responded with “Ventilators are not difficult but cannot be produced instantly. Which hospitals have these shortages you speak of right now?” This gave rise to a multitude of tweets pointing out locations in Italy where medical personnel have complained about shortages.
Tesla makes cars with sophisticated hvac systems. SpaceX makes spacecraft with life support systems. Ventilators are not difficult, but cannot be produced instantly. Which hospitals have these shortages you speak of right now?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 19, 2020
To add to that, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Musk, asking him to send some of these ventilators to New York City. Blasio added, “Our country is facing a drastic shortage and we need ventilators ASAP — we will need thousands in this city over the next few weeks. We’re getting them as fast as we can but we could use your help!”
@elonmusk New York City is buying!
Our country is facing a drastic shortage and we need ventilators ASAP — we will need thousands in this city over the next few weeks. We’re getting them as fast as we can but we could use your help!
We’re reaching out to you directly.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) March 19, 2020
Ventilators have been essential in the recovery of fatal COVID-19 patients as the machine is needed to ensure proper breathing through much of the recovery process.
Musk has faced quite some condemnation when it comes to his tweets and response to the coronavirus outbreak. Tesla’s Fremont plant remains operational despite a “shelter-in-place” order imposed over the entirety of United States. Tesla cited a rather meek reasoning when questioned about the same, saying that “conflicting guidance” received from various levels of the government is the reason it is not clear whether to close the plant or not.
After much criticism online, the plant reduced its workforce to 2500 employees in an effort to maintain social distancing to contain spread of COVID-19.
Number of infections crossed the 10,000 mark in the US. Experts have argued that an increased number of cases may lead to a situation where the U.S will not have enough machines to suffice the affected populace. In addition to Tesla, companies such as Ford and GM have had discussions with the federal government regarding equipment production during the pandemic, including ventilators.
Tesla CEO’s dynamic with twitter has not been without troughs. Musk has argued that not all tweets needed to be taken seriously. However, in several cases the Tesla CEO who claims to “Tweet for fun” has followed up with issues that were brought to light on the platform. Examples are the donation of filtration systems and laptops for schools last year in Flint, Michigan. The most recent tweet by Musk highlighted the importance of remaining calm through the chaos that the pandemic has created.