The news that Elon Musk, the CEO of Telsa and SpaceX, has pledged to start making ventilators, a much-needed item to fight the coronavirus pandemic, was, at first, greeted with skepticism. However, Fox News is reporting that Musk has acquired a shipment of ventilators almost immediately, from an ironic source.
Gavin Newsom, governor of California, made the happy announcement that over a 1,000 ventilators had arrived in Los Angeles and were being distributed to area hospitals. Musk added some more information on Twitter.
“Yup, China had an oversupply, so we bought 1255 FDA-approved ResMed, Philips & Medtronic ventilators on Friday night & air-shipped them to LA. If you want a free ventilator installed, please let us know!”
The lesson here is whether the goal is electric cars, reusable rockets, or interplanetary spaceships, Musk tends to do what he sets out to do. The arrangement, the included folks at the Tesla facility in China, Chinese Customs, and Customs at LA Airport demonstrated that President Trump is not the only master of the art of the deal in the United States.
In the meantime, Musk is diligently converting a production line, likely one that makes Tesla cars, to manufacture ventilators en masse. Several other car companies, including Ford, are retooling to make ventilators. The process brings to mind how automobile manufacturers converted to make jeeps and tanks during the onset of World War II.
According to the Seattle Times, ventilators are not the only critic items that Musk has been able to acquire.
“A truckload of 50,000 N95 surgical masks, critical for health-care workers fighting the novel coronavirus, arrived at the Seattle home of a UW Medicine physician on Sunday— courtesy of Elon Musk and Tesla. Dr. Kristina Adams Waldorf pushed her family’s ice hockey gear out of the way to make room for the dozens of boxes of masks and special helmets for health care workers being unloaded into her driveway.”
The old and now busted meme, promulgated by such people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, was that billionaires are a bunch of rich bloodsuckers who cheated and stole to get their ill-gotten wealth and are despoiling the working people. Best to strip them of their wealth and use it to fund the Green New Deal and Medicare for All.
The new hotness: Thank God for public-spirited billionaires!
CCN, while unfairly slamming our billionaire President Donald Trump, is lauding captains of industry for doing their part in the war against the coronavirus pandemic. Jeff Bezos, for example, is making Amazon.com into an arsenal of health.
“As governors in New York, California, and other large states order strict lockdown measures, many now rely on e-commerce to supply their basic needs. Amazon, being the largest online retailer in the world, is stepping up to the challenge. Jeff Bezos has tweaked the e-commerce giant’s supply chain to meet the soaring demand.”
Amazon is delivering everything from food to people obliged to shelter in place to healthcare supplies to doctors and hospitals. The company is also hiring 100,000 new employees and giving his hourly help a hefty salary raise.
Bill Gates, the much-maligned creator of Microsoft, has opened the coffers of his foundation to help finance research and development of vaccines and treatments for the coronavirus, More money is being sent to the developing world, Africa and South Asia, to help fight the pandemic.
The diligent work of people like Musk, Bezos, and Gates is proving that it is better to have a strong, vigorous private sector rather than a massive healthcare bureaucracy such as exists in the UK and Italy. Italy is facing such massive numbers of people coming down with the serious form of the coronavirus, doctors are having to make heartbreaking triage decisions about who gets access to ventilators and lives and who must be denied and therefore die. One report suggests that people over 60 are now being denied much-needed care.
More that one analyst has suggested that innovation and flexibility needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic comes more from entrepreneurs like Elon Musk with a long experience with developing outside the box solutions to difficult problems. The fact provides some hope that America will see the back end of the pandemic with far fewer casualties than in countries bounded by government healthcare bureaucracies.