Tesla donated ventilators to California Hospitals, then CNN quibbled over words
Elon Musk is taking some serious heat for giving away ventilators. CNN published an article that claimed that Elon Musk didn’t give any hospitals in California any ventilators. The article was titled, “Elon Musk’s promised ventilators never delivered to California hospitals, governor’s office says.” That would lead many to believe that Elon is just giving empty promises. The problem is, that’s not what happened.
Elon took to Twitter to share an email exchange that makes it clear the headline was false, and asked the California governor to correct the information being inaccurately shared by his office with the media (or inaccurately reported). Further, Elon went and shared a partial list of hospitals that he and Tesla have helped.
He added, “These were based on direct requests from their ICU wards, with exact specifications of each unit provided before shipment.”
CNN’s Matt Dornic accused Elon Musk of attacking CNN and said that his “outrage should, uh, be directed at the entity that made the claim, not the one that reported it. U new to this?” However, is it not a news agency’s job to report facts, not false claims — and part of that requires research. I really don’t see how asking someone to fix a misunderstanding is “attacking” them.
Perhaps you are unaware that Twitter has a search function? The hospitals *themselves* acknowledged receipt of ventilators.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 16, 2020
Anyone can look through Elon’s likes (tweets that he has liked) and see plenty of doctors and nurses sharing images and tweets thanking Elon Musk for ventilators. If I can do it, CNN can also do it. It’s just common sense, really.
We feel inmensely grateful to @Tesla and @elonmusk for the donation of ventilators to #HospitalIfema. It is wonderful to count on their support in this critical situation. We are all in this together!#IFEMAeresTú | #EsteVirusLoParamosUnidos pic.twitter.com/uTJO5bNZDz
— IFEMA (@feriademadrid) April 16, 2020
— MLKCH (@yourMLKCH) April 9, 2020
The truth is, many in the media like to paint Elon Musk as the villain and will overlook facts by pretending they are not there, just to fit the twists and turns of their cherry-picked storylines. Any negative news article with the words “Elon Musk” or “Tesla” brings in a lot of clicks. This is why, in my opinion, they do this.
Money is always first in our society. Even when it is at the expense of hurting people. In this instance, Elon Musk, Tesla, and even the hospitals that are being helped are being hurt. It is not the ventilators that are missing. It’s the desire to do factual reporting in an unbiased manner that is missing. The desire to look at the facts right in front of you is what is missing.
Editor’s note: It seems to me that this whole controversy has centered around the fact that the ventilators Tesla donated were non-invasive ventilators, not the invasive ones many had presumed they were. Nonetheless, based on everything I’ve seen, it seems like a pointless pedantic controversy that helps no one at all. The intent of the CNN story and others like it is confusing if it isn’t simply to try to smear Elon Musk’s/Tesla’s image. We’ve communicated with doctors who were happy to receive what Tesla donated and medical staff who were trying to get the same for hospitals in their areas. Furthermore, as has been pointed out several times, everyone from Johns Hopkins University to Wikipedia to Governor Cuomo to doctors we’ve communicated with have indicated that what Tesla donated are indeed types of ventilators.
You’d think they’d at least be Wikipedia-level informed about ventilators! It clearly articulates the difference between invasive & non-invasive. It’s very misleading to the public to claim that only the invasive type are “real ventilators”.https://t.co/wHkAQ9177V
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 19, 2020
4. Non-invasive ventilators appear to be more helpful for non-severe cases as they’re not as damaging to the lungs as invasive ventilators
5. How many ventilators has CNN donated? Just curious.
— Viv 🐉 (@flcnhvy) April 18, 2020
I think it’s a fair point Matt Dornic makes that Tesla should have replied to requests for comment on the matter. The story might have been very different if Tesla had responded with the same confirmation Elon posted on Twitter. That said, getting a story wrong is getting a story wrong, and that falls on the storyteller as much as anyone. And it’s not like there wasn’t plenty of confirmation in public that hospitals were receiving these non-invasive ventilators.
We didn’t cover this for days. But the nonsense built up and got so annoying that we wrote an article on it. We do have much better things to write about, but so does CNN, and that’s the point.
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(Originally appeared at our sister-site, Cleantechnica.)