Elon Musk has shifted his work and is making ventilators and N95 masks at a time when they are in greatest need in the fight against Covid-19.
Ventilators are needed, but the N95 masks are in short supply and desperately needed by health care workers all over the country. In fact, the lack of N95 masks is called one of the biggest bottlenecks in the fight to treat patients and prevent vital workers from becoming carriers.
So news that Elon Musk has made these, using his Tesla and SpaceX businesses, could not have come at a better time.
Just Saturday, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an American oncologist and bioethicist who is senior fellow at the Center for American Progress as well as Vice Provost for Global Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy told MSNBC that Musk told him it would 8-10 weeks. But Musk must have really kicked things into gear.
A reporter from CleanTechnica checked with Musk who told him,
“We have 250k N95 masks. Aiming to start distributing those to hospitals tomorrow night. Should have over 1000 ventilators by next week.”
Dr. Emmanuel also said on MSNBC that we’ll need 8–12 weeks (2–3 months) of social distancing in the US in order to deal with COVID-19. But he said it will come back, and restrictions will increase and decrease as the circumstances demand. He described it as a roller coaster of “social restrictions, easing up, social restrictions, easing up … to try to smooth out the demand on the health care system.”