You know it’s a dark time when we need people like Elon Musk. Most of Musk’s companies, like Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), have always been a privilege to those who could afford them.
But, as COVID-19 threatens to drown our country’s health care system, we need billionaires like Elon Musk to step up and help everyone. More than anything, we need ventilators. Musk claimed on Twitter last night that he would help, “if there is a shortage.”
Musk’s nonchalance was disturbing. He said he would make the ventilators if there were a need. He also said that they would take time to make.
Here’s the thing, Elon. If we’re trying to prevent people from dying, you might want to start figuring out how to make these now, before there’s a genuine shortage. Andreas Weiland, chief executive of Hamilton Medical in Switzerland, one of the world’s leading ventilator manufacturers said:
The reality is there is absolutely not enough. We see that in Italy, we saw that in China, we see it in France and other countries. We could sell I don’t know how many.
He explained how he’s not coming close to the needs of the countries most devastated by the coronavirus:
Italy wanted to order 4,000, but there’s not a chance. We sent them something like 400.
But to make it abundantly clear, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, asked him directly:
If Elon Musk doesn’t follow through on his claim, it wouldn’t be the first time. Musk is developing a reputation for not following through on his hold declarations.
Musk has already walked back his 2019 claim to have one million robotaxis on the road by the end of 2020. And that was before the coronavirus changed everything.
The SEC sued Musk in 2019 for making false claims that he was taking Tesla private.
In 2013, Musk claimed he could get us from New York to Los Angeles in 45 minutes. Seven years later and it doesn’t seem like that will be happening any time soon.
He’s also claimed that he’d be sending tourists to the moon as soon as…two years ago.
Let’s hope Musk takes his ventilator proclamation more seriously. After all, other billionaires are stepping up.
Musk could save many lives if he comes through, but luckily we don’t have to depend on him alone. Bill Gates recently resigned from his board position at Microsoft to spend more time on philanthropic ventures. He wasted no time in donating $100 million to coronavirus relief efforts.
Chinese billionaire Jack Ma is donating 500,000 test kits and one million face masks to U.S. coronavirus containment efforts.
Meanwhile, auto-manufacturers like GM and Ford have looked into whether or not they can help produce ventilators.
Our country is about to face it’s biggest test of this young century. We’re going to need help from everyone, everywhere. Elon Musk has the power to be a massive aid in this effort. Let’s hope he takes it seriously.