NYC mayor thanks Musk for coronavirus ventilator production

The Tesla CEO also responded to criticism of his March 6 tweet saying COVID-19 'panic is dumb' 

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio thanked Tesla founder Elon Musk for his Wednesday pledge to dedicate Tesla's Buffalo, N.Y., Gigafactory to ventilator production.

The pledge came as U.S. hospitals face a ventilator shortage because of the coronavirus pandemic, which causes respiratory problems, including pneumonia.

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"I spoke with [Musk] late last night," de Blasio tweeted Friday. "He’s donating hundreds of ventilators to New York City and state, including our public hospitals. We’re deeply grateful. We need every ventilator we can get our hands on these next few weeks to save lives."

Tesla factory Sparks Nevada / iStock

Musk replied to de Blasio, saying he is "most welcome" and he gave credit to his "Tesla team," adding that the company will do its best to "help in any way."

BEZOS, MUSK, OTHER TECH TITANS JOIN CORONAVIRUS FIGHT

"Biggest value Tesla is providing is precise delivery of ventilators exactly to the ICU where [and]  when they’re needed," Musk continued in another tweet. "There are many ventilators in warehouses, but stuck in logistics/routing/paperwork issues."

The SpaceX founder also responded to criticism of his March 6 tweet saying the panic surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak "is dumb."

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Maye Musk (L) and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk attend the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by M

"Just as with groceries, the panic is also causing hoarding of ventilators, preventing them from reaching the hospitals where they are needed," Musk said in a Friday reply tweet.

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The popular electric carmaker suspended production at the auto plant on March 20 in response to the rapid spread of the virus in New York.

Musk's decision to reopen the factory came in response to state Assemblyman Sean Ryan's letter on Tuesday urging the billionaire engineer to reopen the facility "ramp up ventilator production ... immediately," WKBW reported.

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Musk is reportedly planning to slash on-site staff at a Tesla battery plant in Nevada by around 75 percent after its Japanese battery partner, Panasonic Corp, said it was scaling down operations, Reuters reported Thursday.