Tesla Inc. TSLA is planning to reopen its gigafactory in New York to produce ventilators for people who fall critically ill from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
"Giga New York will reopen for ventilator production as soon as humanly possible," the automaker's chief executive officer Elon Musk announced on Twitter Wednesday. "We will do anything in our power to help the citizens of New York."
The "gigafactory," as Tesla refers to some of its manufacturing facilities, was shut down earlier this month due to the widespread lockdown imposed by the New York state government, which asked all non-essential businesses to halt their operations temporarily.
The electric vehicles maker has also been producing ventilators at its Fremont factory after it similarly shut down under the state government's orders in California.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said that Tesla has already delivered about 1,000 promised ventilators to Los Angeles.
Why It Matters
There are 69,197 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States at press time, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
A minority of patients, especially from higher-risk populations like the elderly and people with underlying health conditions, need intensive care, including ventilator support for breathing if they get severe pneumonia from the virus.
One thousand and fifty people have died from the coronavirus across the country.
The Space Exploration Company, or SpaceX, which is also led by Musk, is also reportedly producing protective gear and sanitizers to be donated to healthcare workers and small businesses.
Tesla's shares closed 6.78% higher at $539.25 on Wednesday. The shares traded 3.55% lower at $520.12 in the pre-market session on Thursday.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Tesla.
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