Elon Musk has said his Tesla and SpaceX factories will begin to manufacture ventilators to assist hospitals with the coronavirus pandemic.
The CEO made the announcement while replying to a Twitter user who wrote, “Please repurpose your factory to make ventilators which are needed ASAP.”
Musk replied, “We will make ventilators if there is a shortage.”
Many on social media begged him to begin immediately.
Actress Patricia Arquette commented, “Ok, then start.”
Bette Midler chimed in, “Start yesterday! There is a widely reported shortage….globally. And thank you!”
Mia Farrow added, “Please. No time to waste”
The 48-year-old tech entrepreneur then elaborated that making the ventilators for the COVID-19 outbreak will take time.
"Tesla makes cars with sophisticated hvac systems. SpaceX makes spacecraft with life support systems,” he tweeted. “Ventilators are not difficult, but cannot be produced instantly.”
He added, “Which hospitals have these shortages you speak of right now?”
New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio caught wind of the offer and directly reached out asking for his help.
“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!,” De Blasio wrote. “We’re reaching out to you directly.”
Musk responded saying, “we will connect with your team to understand potential needs.”
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, it’s been estimated that 960,000 patients may need to be put on ventilators at some point. Currently, the United States only has approximately 200,000 machines, reported the Society of Critical Care Medicine,
As of March 19, there have been at least 10,000 positive cases confirmed in the U.S., with at least 150 deaths, according to NBC News.