Tesla to open Buffalo plant to manufacture ventilators

Plant conversion to be completed "as soon as humanly possible"

WBEN Newsroom
March 25, 2020 - 6:11 pm
Tesla site in South Buffalo. (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

Tesla site in South Buffalo. (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - In an interview with CNBC Wednesday, Medtronic Chief Executive Officer Omar Ishrak said they are working with Tesla to reopen the Buffalo giga factory for the purpose of manufacturing ventilators.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted the move would be made "as soon as humanly possible" amidst a crisis to be prepared to treat a growing number of coronavirus patients.

"We will do anything in our power to help the citizens of New York", said Musk in a tweet.

President Donald Trump has been calling on and encouraging private businesses to step-up and work to manufacture the life-sustaining medical equipment.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been  pleading for more ventilators to save the lives of COVID-19 patients as well.

"The state has about 3,000 to 4,000 ventilators on hand and has purchased about 7,000 more, but it needs a minimum of 30,000 additional ventilators within the next two weeks, when the outbreak is expected to peak", Cuomo said.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is rejoicing the news from Tesla, saying, "Fantastic news from Tesla CEO Elon Musk today! Buffalo workers will be mobilized to help the nation fight the coronavirus!"

Assemblyman Sean Ryan says, "I want to thank Elon Musk and everyone at Tesla for responding so quickly to my call to begin making ventilators at the Tesla factory in Buffalo. This is a critical moment for our state and our country. We are all practicing social distancing to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, and at the same time, we recognize the importance of preparing our healthcare system for what’s next. Ventilators are essential to our response and as Governor Cuomo has noted, the state needs at least 30,000 to meet the growing need. I look forward to working with Tesla and New York State as ventilator production begins to ramp up in Buffalo. My thanks to workers everywhere who are still on the job working tirelessly to keep our economy going, and my thoughts are with everyone directly and indirectly impacted by the pandemic. Rest assured that your state government will continue fighting for resources and working to keep everyone safe. I encourage all New Yorkers to continue to stay home to help stop the spread.”

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