Tesla CEO Elon Musk mocked CNN early Thursday over a report claiming that none of his 1,000 promised ventilators made it to California hospitals.
CNN on Wednesday quoted the California governor’s office as saying they had not yet heard of any hospital system in the state receiving a ventilator directly from Tesla or Mr. Musk, despite the CEO claiming otherwise on social media.
Mr. Musk didn’t respond to CNN’s inquiry for the report but gave plenty of commentary on Twitter, writing, “What I find most surprising is that CNN still exists.”
He then posted a March email exchange that appeared to show a Los Angeles County Department of Health Services official thanking Tesla for receiving the ventilators.
“They worked great during testing today,” wrote Phillip Franks, Director of System Operations and Support Services at the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, according to the screenshot. “We will put these to use tomorrow. Thanks!”
Mr. Musk also tweeted an email exchange that appeared to be from Mammoth Hospital in Mammoth Lakes, California, in which CEO Tom Parker thanked Tesla for the ventilators.
“These ventilators will be quickly deployed in our hospital in anticipation of the coming wave of parents who will be suffering from the most severe effects of COVID-19,” Mr. Parker wrote, according to the screenshot.
Mr. Musk added in another tweet, “Not to mention Medtronic, who makes the most advanced ventilators in the world, also affirming our help!”
“I literally have the receipts!!” he wrote. “This is so dumb.”
Mr. Musk also tagged Gov. Gavin Newsom in one of the tweets, asking him to “please fix this misunderstanding.”
Matt Dornic, CNN’s vice president of communications, fired back in a tweet saying his network was simply reporting what the governor’s office said.
“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,” Mr. Dornic responded. “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?”
Mr. Musk responded by publishing a “partial list” of hospitals he said received ventilators from Tesla.
“These were based on direct requests from their ICU wards, with exact specifications of each unit provided before shipment,” he wrote.
“Perhaps you are unaware that Twitter has a search function?” he tweeted to Mr. Dornic. “The hospitals *themselves* acknowledged receipt of ventilators.”
Partial list of hospitals to which Tesla sent ventilators pic.twitter.com/sfI6yuUbrM
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 16, 2020