Skip to main content may receive compensation from affiliate partners for some links on the site. Read our full Disclosure here.

“I’m Surprised CNN Still Exists”: Elon Mask Swings Back Against Missing Ventilator Story


Turns out President Trump isn’t the only one who thinks CNN is fake news.

Elon Musk has swung back at CNN after the network reported that he never delivered ventilators to hospitals in California.

During the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Tesla was one of the few corporations that announced that it would produce ventilators to make sure there wasn’t a shortage in the United States.

In Italy, the massive wave of COVID-19 cases overwhelmed the healthcare system and resulted in ventilator rationing.

Leaders in the U.S. were determined to make sure that did not happen here.

Tesla, at the directive of Elon Musk, quickly built and delivered 1,000 ventilators throughout the state of California.

But that didn’t stop CNN from running a story claiming that Musk never delivered on his promise.

Musk struck back hard, saying that he was “surprised CNN still exists.”

See Elon Musk’s Twitter rampage, including CNN’s response, below:

On Twitter, Elon Musk also published a partial list of hospitals that received the ventilators.

At least 20 different hospitals in the state of California were on that list.

Hospitals even took to Twitter to verify that they received the life-saving devices, thanking Musk as well as Tesla.

California Governor Newsom said in March that Musk had already fulfilled his promise, Fox News reports:

Back in March, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Musk had already made good on his promise.

"I told you a few days ago that he was likely to have 1,000 ventilators this week," Newsom said at a press conference, adding the ventilators arrived in Los Angeles and that Musk was working with the hospital association to get the equipment out. "It was a heroic effort."

Musk followed up his CNN-mocking tweet by asking Newsom to “please fix this misunderstanding” and posted an email that a California official sent declaring the ventilators worked great.

CNN executive Matt Dornic responded to Musk’s tweet to defend his organization and pin the blame on the governor's office instead.

“Weird to attack CNN for what the CA governor’s office said - especially when your own spokespeople at Tesla didn’t respond to requests for comment,” Dornic wrote. “Seems like your outrage should, uh, be directed at the entity that made the claim, not the one that reported it. U new to this?”

If CNN can't get a simple story right, then what other stories are they butchering?

A Twitter search or reaching out to the hospitals that Musk named would have confirmed his assertions. 

Instead, CNN published the story and has yet to retract its claims that Musk never created or delivered the 1,000 ventilators he promised.

However, photos from hospitals thanking Elon Musk and Tesla appear to suggest that CNN is reporting fake news.

Some reports suggest that the ventilators donated by Tesla were not the "high end" ventilators, but that they were able to be used in less serious cases.

This freed up the more advanced ventilators for those who needed them the most.

Bloomberg reports that major hospitals such as Mount Sinai did indeed receive the ventilators:

Before Mount Sinai put the devices to use in its overrun intensive care unit, the students reconfigured the tubing so that the machines could deliver adequate levels of oxygen and pressure. And they inserted a small mesh filter to prevent the virus from escaping and infecting health-care workers.

About 12 of these modified machines are currently in use in critical-care settings to help open and close the lungs of severely ill patients. About 80 are being used in less serious cases, Freeman said.

“They won’t help the sickest patients, but did help free up some of the advanced ventilators to those who need them the most,” he said.

The Tesla-donated machines were dropped at Mount Sinai’s loading dock in pellets overnight. The boxes were carried to the library, where about 20 medical students created a ventilator assembly line to build the devices as quickly as possible, Freeman said. They were then transported to a classroom to be modified for use in critical-care settings.

Mount Sinai has offered to redistribute the modified BiPAP machines to other hospitals in need, Freeman said.


“I appreciate Elon and others who have really stepped up and offered support,” Newsom said when asked about the issue during a press conference Thursday. “I’m learning more about where they went and am grateful for his support.”

Northwestern Medicine in Illinois also received machines from Tesla, and a spokesman said they supported the hospital’s ability to care for patients.

Sonoma Valley Hospital in California received six continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machines from Musk. A hospital spokeswoman said the facility was very grateful for the gift.

Many in the media have attempted to blame President Trump and his allies for a "shortage" of medical equipment.

However, it turns out that the peak ventilator usage is already behind us, and that states like New York only needed a fraction of the 40,000 ventilators that Democratic Governor Cuomo predicted.

The primary shortages had to do with protective equipment such as face masks and gloves, but it was revealed that these were depleted from the national stockpile under Barack Obama and never replenished.

Thanks to President Trump's actions and the leadership of major corporations, everyone in America who needs a ventilator is able to get one.


Join the conversation!

Please share your thoughts about this article below. We value your opinions, and would love to see you add to the discussion!

Thanks for sharing!