Elon Musk has criticized mainstream media outlet CNN for its reporting on his pledge to donate more than a thousand ventilators to medical units in California. The publication claims Musk has so far failed to make good on his promise but evidence suggests otherwise.
The Tesla CEO claims to have chased the matter up and received word that the units had indeed been received. After showing CNN photographs of many grateful hospitals, he called on Gavin Newsom, the Governor of California, to set the matter straight.
Musk Claps Back
Elon Musk rebuked a CNN report claiming that the ventilators he promised to California’s hospitals last month never showed up. The tech entrepreneur responded by questioning the need for the publication to even exist:
What I find most surprising is that CNN still exists
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 16, 2020
Musk initially announced that he would donate the 1,255 ventilators last month. Gov. Newsom called the deed ‘heroic’ and said that the equipment was on its way to those in need during a March 23 press conference.
Musk announced himself that the ventilator units were the result of an overstocking in China. Tesla reportedly bought up the surplus and pledged to donate them for free to medical facilities in need.
CNN reported that Newsom has since told the publication, via a spokesperson, that no ventilators had been received: “The Administration is communicating every day with hospitals across the state about their ventilator supply and to date, we have not heard of any hospital system that has received a ventilator directly from Tesla or Musk.”
CNN Under Fire: ‘Missing’ Ventilators Tested and Working Great
Musk responded personally via Twitter to the report. Providing screenshots of emails from late March, he accused the publication of pushing a false narrative.
The following exchange between Tesla’s Project Director, Omead Afshar, and a director at the LA Department of Health Services, suggests that the promised medical equipment was indeed received.
Here’s some proof pic.twitter.com/379Y4PoXYj
— ANA COUPER (The future is now) (@ana_couper) April 16, 2020
Phillip Franks responded to Afshar to state that the units had indeed been received, were tested, worked great, and were ready to go out to hospitals on March 30. Some hospitals have even tweeted thanks to Musk after receiving the units.
Musk also appealed to Gavin Newsom to ‘fix this misunderstanding’ — something that the California governor has yet to do. He then proceeded to post numerous examples of the hospitals thanking Tesla for the donation.
With such a strong body of evidence showing that the units were received, the reported statement from Newsom’s office remains a mystery without further information. However, it’s understandable why Musk isn’t happy with the publication’s reporting and why numerous individuals joined in on the criticism.