New York State officials are urging CEO of Tesla Elon Musk to reopen Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, New York, to produce ventilators and other critical medical equipment. This call comes after Tesla's recent suspension of its Giga New York plant, in a bid to protect employees from the rampant spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, reports Teslarati.
Elon Musk's Buffalo Gigafactory versus COVID-19
New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan noted in a statement to ABC7 News that everyone has to do their part in helping the United States address the COVID-19 pandemic. Ryan praised Elon Musk and the Tesla team for their work so far, but the Assemblyman stressed that the all-electric car maker's Buffalo-based facility could be repurposed to help fill the gap in medical supplies critical to the face the challenges of the novel coronavirus.
"There is no doubt that COVID-19 has created an unprecedented challenge for New York, for our nation, and for the entire world. At this difficult time, it is critical that each of us do our part to ensure our state can respond to the growing pandemic. I thank Elon Musk and the team at Tesla for announcing that they are working on a plan. Tesla's factory in Buffalo would be an ideal location to ramp up ventilator production, and I urge them to make this commitment immediately," said Ryan, in the statement.
Letter of concern to Elon Musk
He also outlined points in a letter to the SpaceX and Tesla CEO. In it, Ryan urges Musk to "ramp up ventilator production at the Tesla factory located in Buffalo, New York."
"With COVID-19 impacting every segment of our society and economy, Tesla's solar production factory in Buffalo has currently suspended operations. At this difficult time, it is critical that each of us do our part," added Ryan. He also reiterates that New York State is the most impacted U.S. state, "with over 20,000 cases of COVID-19, and the numbers are growing every day."
It makes sense, Ryan argues, for ventilator production to happen in New York, where the demands of the healthcare system are the most strained.
New York politicians push for Tesla to act
And Assemblyman Ryan's not the only one calling for Tesla and Elon Musk to reopen Giga New York to produce critically-needed ventilators and additional medical supplies. In a recent tweet, Nick Langworthy, NYGOP chairman, suggested to Elon Musk that "emergency times call for emergency measures," one of which is reallocating Tesla's Supercharger and Solarglass Roof facility for ventilator and medical supply production.
"Perhaps the @Tesla plant in Buffalo owned by New York State and gifted to @elonmusk should be repurposed to manufacture ventilators and critical medical equipment as soon as humanly possible. Emergency times call for drastic measures," wrote Langworthy.
In the age of COVID-19, politicians are turning to industry forces like Tesla in ways that have hardly any precedence at all. As the rate of infections begins to ramp up in New York City, it seems the most difficult times still lie ahead for medical facilities.