Tesla is shipping FDA-approved ventilators to hospitals around the world for free during the coronavirus pandemic

Ventilator rationing could soon become a reality

Uwe Anspach/dpa/Getty Images

A bed with a ventilator in a patient room.

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk is offering to ship to hospitals a critical piece of medical equipment that's in short supply during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic: ventilators.
  • "We have extra FDA-approved ventilators," Musk wrote on Twitter this week. "Will ship to hospitals worldwide within Tesla delivery regions. Device & shipping cost are free."
  • Ventilators are life-saving devices that assist breathing - an especially critical device for treating a respiratory infection like coronavirus.
  • These ventilators, however, were purchased by Tesla from China. "China had an oversupply, so we bought 1,255 FDA-approved ResMed, Philips & Medtronic ventilators," Musk said.
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Tesla is offering to pay for and ship a crucial medical component being used in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

CEO Elon Musk announced as much on Tuesday: "We have extra FDA-approved ventilators. Will ship to hospitals worldwide within Tesla delivery regions. Device & shipping cost are free. Only requirement is that the vents are needed immediately for patients, not stored in a warehouse," he said.Advertisement

Ventilators are life-saving devices that assist breathing - an especially critical device for treating a respiratory infection like COVID-19, the coronavirus disease.

Notably, these ventilators aren't the Tesla-produced devices Musk previously announced. Instead, these are part of an "oversupply" of "1,255 FDA-approved ResMed, Philips & Medtronic ventilators" that Tesla purchased last week for distribution to hospitals in the US.

At least some of Tesla's purchased ventilators are already in New York City, as seen above in a photo at the Elmhurst Hospital in Queens.
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The Queens hospital where Tesla shipped ventilators became a flashpoint after a video shot by a doctor within the hospital was widely shared. In the video, the doctor said, "We don't have the tools that we need." New York City has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with more 43,000 confirmed cases and over 1,000 deaths as of April 1.

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