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Elon Musk Delivers On His Promise To Provide Ventilators & Protective Equipment

It is a terrifying world when we run out of personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical workers in a developed country, but that is what is happening not just the United States, but all around the world. Keeping his promise, Elon Musk has made the first of many more shipments of N95 masks, gowns, and protective equipment. UCLA Health was the first recipient that we know of and the supplies will help medical staff there to serve their patients safely. 

Peyton Reed, a director of popular movies such as Ant-Man, shared a photo of the delivery on Twitter earlier tonight and expressed his gratitude toward Elon Musk. Reed’s wife works at UCLA Health. “My wife, her co-workers and her patients thank you profusely,” he wrote on Twitter. 

The update follows news from Medtronic about a conversation with Elon Musk and Tesla. Musk had previously offered to build ventilators to support the COVID-19 pandemic and the tweet makes it clear he is taking his commitment seriously.

In Seattle, a truckload of 50,000 N95 masks arrived at the home of a UW Medicine physician, Dr. Kristian Adams Waldorf, today. The masks came from Elon Musk and Tesla. Kyrylo Musiyenki, the driver of the van, picked it up in Fremont at 6pm with instructions that it was urgently needed in Seattle. The shipment arrived just before noon in Seattle, the Seattle Times reports. “Hopefully, it will help,” he told the doctor. The doctor assured him and said, “It’ll help right away.”

While some headlines proclaim that Elon Musk can’t solve this, assaulting the innovator in article after article, I have to agree with Medtronic — addressing COVID-19 will take a group effort. The actions of everyone counts. Even yours. Whether or not you agree with Elon Musk, like him or not, individual actions do matter. Stay home and flatten the curve. These sound like sweet catchphrases, but they are mantras for human survival if we are going to stop spreading this virus to each other and around the world.

When someone like Elon Musk speaks, companies and world leaders pause to listen. They take his advice and have respect for him. His voice, while spoken softly (most of the time), carries the weight of brilliance — the type of brilliance that one would want on their side when facing a global pandemic. He has wide influence, security clearance, millions of followers on Twitter, and is well known for his ability to solve problems that are seemingly impossible. He built two multi-billion-dollar companies from the ground up by not just taking on “the impossible,” but achieving “the impossible.” He has the resources to get things done and does so — most often, in the face of adversity.

Here in Louisiana, things are looking a bit dire, yet also hopeful. It is hopeful to see many local businesses getting creative when it comes to making things like hand sanitizer. Businesses such as Porch Jam, which makes Bolden Vodka, is now using its distillery operation to make hand sanitizer. GoodWood NOLA, which is known for building custom furniture, is making face masks and other PPE. Also, when I asked Elon for help on Twitter, he promised that he would get us supplies as soon as he could. That gives us much hope here.

 

The despair comes from the fact that Louisiana is quickly becoming one of the states most impacted by coronavirus. Just yesterday our governor gave a press conference and informed everyone that our state has the fastest growth of the coronavirus.  As of right now, in Louisiana, there have been 1,388 cases reported and 46 deaths. Those numbers will most likely change by tomorrow.

A terrifying account from an ICU respiratory therapist in New Orleans described caring for coronavirus patients like this: “The ventilator should have been doing the work of breathing but he was still gasping for air, moving his mouth, moving his body, struggling. We had to restrain him. With all the coronavirus patients, we’ve had to restrain them,” he told NOLA.com. Currently, there have been 837 cases reported and 20 deaths in Louisiana. There have been 20 cases right here in Baton Rouge.

New Orleans, Louisiana. Image credit: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica

In New Orleans, a respiratory therapist told ProPublica that, “There is a very real possibility that we might run out of ICU beds and at that point, I don’t know what happens if patients get sick and need to be intubated and put on a ventilator. Is that person going to die because we don’t have the equipment to keep them alive? What if it goes on for months and dozens of people die because we don’t have the ventilators?”

Elon Musk stepping up to help, along with numerous other business leaders and businesses across the country to make a difference. Whether we have to make our own masks with dish rags and rubber bands or we depend on charities to sew them for communities — each of these gifts give us the ray of hope that parts through the dark, stormy clouds of fear, chaos, and gloom. It is times such as these that humanity shows its true colors — our ability to come together and help one another despite the fear, the terror, and the risks.

 
Written By

Johnna Crider is a Louisiana native who likes crawfish, gems, minerals, EVs, and advocates for sustainability. Johnna is also the host of GettingStoned.online, a jewelry artisan and a $TSLA shareholder.

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