ETC

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Tuesday the company has extra FDA-approved ventilators that can be shipped free of cost to hospitals within regions where the electric carmaker delivers.

"Device & shipping cost are free. Only requirement is that the vents are needed immediately for patients, not stored in a warehouse. Please me or @Tesla know," Musk said in a tweet.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment on how many ventilators it has to offer, or how the company will prioritize requests. Two weeks ago Musk said Tesla could easily make ventilators, though he questioned the need for them. Then days later he said Tesla had purchased excess ventilators from China.

Governments across the globe have appealed to automakers and aerospace companies help procure or make ventilators and other medical equipment amid a fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak, which has infected more than 777,000 people globally and killed over 37,500.

In United States, states hard hit by the pandemic have pleaded with the Trump administration and manufacturers to speed up production of ventilators to cope with a surge in patients.

Earlier this week, Ford said it will produce 50,000 ventilators over the next 100 days at a plant in Michigan in cooperation with General Electric's healthcare unit, and can then build 30,000 per month as needed to treat patients afflicted with the coronavirus.

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