GM was recently awarded a federal contract for $489 million to supply 30,000 ventilators to the Strategic National Stockpile. They have until the end of August to do so. This is a result of President Trump invoking the Defense Production Act via the US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
This is a good thing. Ventilators are critical for fighting COVID-19. There has been a limited supply of them, though. Additionally, due to the virus, those who need them for other procedures, such as open-heart surgery, may not get them. So, the more ventilator makers, the merrier. Additionally, GM said it will sell the ventilators to the government at cost, not pocketing a profit.
In a perfect world, innovators would be celebrated for creating life-saving tech and saving lives with it. People who buy medical equipment and donate it to hospitals, such as Elon Musk did with CPAPs, would normally be celebrated for doing so. However, this isn’t a perfect world.
So GM is getting PAID $489 million to deliver ventilators that won't be delivered until the end of August.
Where's the fake outrage from TSLAQ and the 'GM and the missing ventilators' headlines from thier reporter friends!?
— Shorty_Airfarce™ (@SAirfarce) April 9, 2020
Instead, we have critics on Twitter and several in the media slamming Elon Musk for donating ventilators. Arguments abound — claims like “they are not real ventilators,” he is just “doing it for publicity,” and “Elon Musk and the missing ventilators” are all over Twitter. It’s really sad to see — those helping are being criticized for doing so.
A friend of mine who is a doctor was targeted by some members of the “$TSLAQ” cult on Twitter due to tweets of thanks for what Elon and Tesla have done, to which he gracefully replied:
I’m Here. I’m Fighting. I won’t stop.
— JRich (@JRichNOLA) April 8, 2020
The truth is that all who are stepping up to help are heroes. GM, Tesla, Ford, anyone who stops what they are doing in order to learn a new thing so that they can help save lives should be celebrated. GM may be getting paid, and this is okay. After all, they are a corporation, and corporations need to make profits in order to continue their businesses.
Elon Musk donates CPAP machines and gets criticized by the media.
In the UK, Mercedes does the same thing but the media is all cool with it.
CPAPs are being converted into ventilators which DO save lives
— GettingStoned.eth (@_GettingStoned) April 5, 2020
Profits ensure that a company is able to hire employees, provide good products, and continue operating. The issue is the fake or misplaced outrage at Tesla for stepping up.
Another example is that Tesla is furloughing employees and cutting the pay of some of its employees. Yes, it is devastating, but Tesla isn’t the only automaker doing that. VW in Chattanooga called for temporary emergency furloughs for its production and maintenance workforce. This is happening across the industry.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 9, 2020
I think that we as a society need to be grateful that we live in a country with innovative technology that can actually step up and help. Did you know that there are places around the globe where people have no access to running water? Also, the homeless population around the world — especially those living on the streets — doesn’t have easy access to running water. With libraries and other public places being closed, they can’t go and wash their hands as the CDC recommends.
Let’s appreciate those who are helping, and do whatever we can to help as well.