State Watch

California governor says ventilators promised by Elon Musk never made it to hospitals

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) office said none of the more than 1,000 ventilators Tesla CEO Elon Musk pledged to deliver to California hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic have been received as of this week.

Musk tweeted in late March that Tesla had bought 1,255 FDA-approved ventilators from a Chinese oversupply and shipped them to Los Angeles, but the governor’s office said Wednesday that none of the promised devices had yet reached hospitals.

“Elon Musk and his team told the state that he had procured ventilators and wanted to distribute them directly to hospitals with shortages,” a spokesperson for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services told CNN Wednesday.

“The Administration is communicating every day with hospitals across the state about their ventilator supply and to date we have not heard of any hospital system that has received a ventilator directly from Tesla or Musk,” the spokesperson added.

Musk has called the situation a “misunderstanding” that he called on Newsom to “fix,” tweeting what he said were screenshots of emails between himself and a Los Angeles County health department official dated March 27, indicating county officials had tested the devices and intended to put them into use the next day. The CEO also posted a screenshot of an email from the CEO of Mammoth Hospital in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., stating that the ventilators “give us a fighting chance.”

Newsom said last week that California has stockpiled more than 11,000 ventilators to address the pandemic in the state, which has been under a stay-at-home order for the past five weeks. Newsom said the state has a sufficient supply and was equipped to lend 500 ventilators to other states with fewer available machines.

The Hill has reached out to Tesla for further clarification or comment.

Tags Coronavirus Elon Musk Gavin Newsom

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