New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has asked Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to make good on his offer to manufacture ventilators to combat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to a report by The Verge.
Musk had tweeted that his companies could make ventilators “if there’s a shortage,” and de Blasio tweeted that “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.”
Ventilators are in such short supply that President Trump tweeted that he might use the “Defense Production Act” to compel companies to help, but later said that would only be in a “worst-case scenario.”
Musk said ventilators were doable, and that “Tesla makes cars with sophisticated HVAC systems. SpaceX makes spacecraft with life support systems. Ventilators are not difficult, but cannot be produced instantly.”
Tesla is currently in contention with San Francisco Bay area authorities over whether the company should stop producing cars during the shelter-in-place order, and it is possible it will have the same issue in Nevada.
Many state and local governments have had issues staying on top of the virus because of a slow lag time from the federal government. The Trump administration has also been looking to the private sector for solutions.
Amazon, one of the few companies to see growth during the pandemic, has said it will hire 100,000 workers around the globe, and that it will raise daily hourly pay from $15 to $17. Razer, a gaming company, said it will help to make masks for doctors and nurses.
“This emergency conversion of some of our lines and donation of masks is the first step of many that @Razer will take. We are committed to contributing our extra time, resources, effort and talent toward the fight against COVID-19,” said Min-Liang Tan, CEO of Razer.