The world is suffering massively due to coronavirus and finally, after years of ignorance, even the privileged can see the dents in our healthcare systems. Billionaires have been quiet ever since the outbreak since no amount of investment in medical facilities can bring them profits and when people point out the inherent flaws of capitalism, they deny all the perks.
Source: Pro Pakistani
One such billionaire is Tesla and Space X's CEO, Elon Musk who says that the company is ready to make ventilators for hospitals “if there is a shortage”. Yes, he does not believe that right now, we are facing any sort of problems with the equipment so maybe this is exactly why numbers in America have exceeded those in China.
It was a reply to the tweet of a user who said that Tesla should make ventilators since they are one of the biggest manufacturing companies in the world. His tweet said, “Please repurpose your factory to make ventilators which are needed ASAP. I am a Tesla owner and love the company. You have to stop being an idiot about this. This is a massive disaster. Ask the doctors in the field.” To this, Elon Musk came with his ignorant reply.
Source: Al Jazeera
The ventilators that they are referring to are specialized mechanized devices that are being used to treat critical patients of COVID-19. Health experts have repeatedly said that coronavirus attacks lungs which causes shortness of breath and this is why artificial breathing support is necessary.
The paramedics have pointed out several times now that the United States doesn't have enough ventilators to deal with the growing number of patients. According to The Society of Critical Care Medicine, the increasing rate indicates that 960 000 people would be affected shortly and they only have 200 000 ventilators.
After the obvious backlash, Musk said that making ventilators in Tesla is a possibility but they might need to make alterations in the machines to cater to the medical equipment. "Tesla makes cars with sophisticated hvac systems. SpaceX makes spacecraft with life support systems. Ventilators are not difficult, but cannot be produced instantly." he tweeted.
Spending billions and earning even more on cars is a profitable business but ventilators would bring nothing but safety to affected people. So we understand why Mr. Musk would not want to make any alterations in his factories that would be running smoothly as soon as the pandemic is over.
The original tweet of the user who suggested the manufacturing of ventilators was based on the partial closure of Tesla’s Fremont factory due to shelter-in-place orders in Alameda County, California. However, they held negotiations with the Sheriff's Office and to no one’s surprise were granted permission to operate with one-fourth of the total workforce with the promise that manufacturing cars would be postponed.
Elon Musk has been a hero for all the car lovers for a very long time but the fact that he is a capitalist who would obviously put the demands of his factories before the health of the workers doesn't come as a surprise. Previously, he also said that the "coronavirus panic is dumb” and this statement came last week when at least 1,195 people had died due to the virus. Obviously, corona would not dare to seep through the high golden walls of Musk’s mansion but a little sensitivity for those who cannot afford basic healthcare would be appreciated.