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Tesla CEO Elon Musk Ramps Up Coronavirus Aid

By John Bromels - Updated Mar 24, 2020 at 4:02PM

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The controversial CEO has ordered 1,200 ventilators from China, to arrive "within days."

Tesla (TSLA -1.28%) CEO Elon Musk has ramped up his efforts -- as well as his company's -- to help combat the growing U.S. coronavirus epidemic.

In his latest move, announced in a Monday night tweet, Tesla purchased 1,255 ventilators from China, where "they had an oversupply." The company had the ventilators flown to Los Angeles, where they are currently awaiting distribution, California Governor Gavin Newsom confirmed in a press conference. 

A pair of hands in surgical gloves inserts a tube into a respiratory device.

Tesla has donated critical medical equipment, including masks and ventilators, to help combat coronavirus. Image source: Getty Images.

Musk's busy weekend

The ventilator shipment, facilitated by Tesla's team in China with cooperation from customs officials in China and Los Angeles, comes on the heels of the company's donation of about 50,000 N95 surgical masks to the University of Washington School of Medicine. Another batch of supplies, including masks and gowns, were sent to UCLA Health, according to a tweet from film director Peyton Reed.

Last week, Musk said Tesla was "working on" deploying Tesla's manufacturing capabilities to produce much-needed ventilators. On Saturday, Musk said he had spoken with with medical device maker Medtronic (MDT -1.08%) about engineering ventilators but gave no definite confirmation of a partnership or details of a timeline.

Facebook and Apple also chip in

Other Silicon Valley companies are also using their resources to help supply the beleaguered medical community, as their CEOs take to social media to promote their efforts. According to a post by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook (META 0.40%) donated 720,000 masks that it had stockpiled in case of a resurgence of the 2019 California wildfires. The company is also attempting to source and donate "millions" more. 

Meanwhile, Apple (AAPL 0.55%) CEO Tim Cook tweeted that his company would also be donating "millions of masks" to healthcare workers in the U.S. and Europe. 

Despite these efforts by the tech giants, it's unclear when the critical medical supply shortage will be eased.


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Stocks Mentioned

Tesla, Inc. Stock Quote
Tesla, Inc.
$690.27 (-1.28%) $-8.93
Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
$142.34 (0.55%) $0.78
Meta Platforms, Inc. Stock Quote
Meta Platforms, Inc.
$168.87 (0.40%) $0.68
Medtronic plc Stock Quote
Medtronic plc
$89.51 (-1.08%) $0.98

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