Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said he would help with New York City mayor Bill de Blasio’s plea for ventilators to deal with the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, as New York governor Andrew Cuomo warned that the state could hit “a peak in about five or six weeks” with over 100,000 hospitalizations.
Musk, who has downplayed the threat of coronavirus in the past, said that his companies, which already produce “sophisticated hvac systems” and “life support systems” could transition to making ventilators to respond to hospital shortages. After de Blasio tweeted “we could use your help!” Musk said he would connect with the mayor to work on the problem.
Sounds good, we will connect with your team to understand potential needs
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 19, 2020
New York City’s cases almost doubled to 3,615 on Thursday, with deaths increasing from 11 to 22. Cuomo told reporters that his state is currently up to 7,500 tests a day, with more than 22,000 total people tested so far. He added later that the state only had approximately 5,000 ventilators but needs 30,000.
Cuomo also revealed that the state projects a peak of cases “in about five or six weeks.”
“We’re looking at about 110,000 hospitalizations, about 25,000 to 37,000 people needing ICU beds. That vastly overwhelms our healthcare capacity,” he stated.
CUOMO: "We did some projections. We think here in New York… we're looking here at a peak in about five or six weeks. We're looking at about 110,000 hospitalizations, about 25,000 to 37,000 people needing ICU beds. That vastly overwhelms our healthcare capacity."
— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) March 19, 2020
Cuomo and de Blasio have sparred over the state’s response to the virus, with the two disagreeing over whether New York City should be locked down in a quarantine.
“Look, I would know, I would have to authorize those actions,” Cuomo said Thursday morning. “It’s not going to happen . . . Misinformation, emotion, fear, panic, [are] truly more dangerous than the virus.”
On Wednesday, the White House confirmed that the U.S. Navy is sending its 1,000-bed USNS Comfort floating hospital ship to New York City harbor to help with hospital-bed overflow as a result of increasing coronavirus patients.