Tesla to produce ventilators in Buffalo

The Associated PressIn this Feb. 6, 2018 file photo, Elon Musk, founder, CEO, and lead designer of SpaceX, speaks at a news conference after the Falcon 9 SpaceX heavy rocket launched successfully from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. On Wednesday, Musk tweeted that he will reopen his company's shuttered solar panel manufacturing plant in Buffalo to support the production of ventilators in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk will reopen his company's solar panel manufacturing facility in Buffalo for the production of ventilators.

Musk tweeted the announcement on Wednesday, indicating that his firm intends to ramp up ventilator production in Western New York "as soon as humanly possible." 

The move comes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo and leaders in New York have continued their calls to address what they anticipate will be an expanded need for ventilators as more people are expected to be hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms in the New York City area in the coming days. 

Tesla shuttered its Buffalo factory following Friday's order from Cuomo for all "non-essential" businesses to be closed in New York in support of social distancing efforts aimed at reducing the spread of the virus. 

Cuomo has estimated that New York will need as many as 37,000 ventilators amid the outbreak. There are now more than 30,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, with the majority in the New York City area. 

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

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