Tesla CEO Elon Musk has had to defend criticism over his company’s donations of ventilators to New York hospitals in the fight against COVID-19. The critics say the ventilators which are non-invasive, are not very useful in treating the coronavirus patients.
Musks ventilators are the ResMed-made Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) devices. They are similar in design to the common Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices which were reengineered by the Mercedes Formula One engineering team.
The BiPAP and CPAP devices are non-invasive and do not deliver oxygen straight to the lungs. They can, however, help patients with ailments like sleep apnea. According to the Financial Times, many patients with critical respiratory issues actually need the invasive type of ventilators.
Seeing a tweet about the donations, one Twitter user had commented: “Wait a minute. That’s a CPAP machine, not a ventilator. More than a little misleading right.”
Another person also tweeted; “Do we know the origin of these ventilators, as we know they were not in fact produced by Tesla? Additionally, what was the purpose of slapping the Tesla logo on the boxes? Seems a little misleading”.
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One supportive Twitter user noted that New York was converting the BiPAP devices into the more invasive ventilators. The user shared a screenshot showing New York Governor, Andre Cuomo confirming the conversions. Although this is pending the state’s health department’s approval.
In response to the tweet, Musk said that he got confirmation from the hospitals that the ventilators would be critical.
Exactly. Moreover, all hospitals were given exact specifications of Resmed & Philips ventilators before delivery & all confirmed they would be critical.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 2, 2020
Musk later accused his critics of being fake accounts and trolls.
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