Elon Musk donated the first respirators purchased by Tesla to the city of New York, but Elon Musk’s image continues to weigh the denialism embraced from the beginning of the pandemic.
Emergencies are emergencies and as such require short-cut gratitude and investment in solidarity. And that’s how in the midst of a pandemic we need to look at Elon Musk with two attitudes: of those who are grateful for what Tesla is doing but at the same time of those who do not forget what they did not do.
Elon Musk: the first respirators given to New York
It starts with the merits because the commendation is dutiful: Tesla has quickly started to convert its Fremont production lines in collaboration with Medtronics engineers and has quickly begun the development of respirators now available to the city of New York York. The donated respirators are not actually from Fremont because that was Musk’s promise: whether they are produced or purchased, they will still be donated. So it was: waiting to be able to develop any of them on its own, Tesla preferred to move in full urgency by purchasing 1255 units from ResMed, Philips and Medtronics for a first, minimum and insufficient supply where one of the hottest outbreaks has developed Coronavirus in the United States.
But the comments to Bill de Blasio and Elon Musk’s tweets seem more focused on Elon Musk’s first phase: not what he’s acting, but what he belittled. His tweet about the panic to be denied, his attempt to keep the establishments open, his current continuous denialism about the impact of the Covid-19: these are the themes that make inroads on the public more than any respirator donated to the City of New York to Pandemic now deflated. Today’s “we’ll do everything we can” promise is worth less and, indeed, it seems to be the result of the same panic that Musk called “stupid” at the time.
When the devastating impact of Coronavirus on the world is studied at the end of games, the “Elon Musk” case will have to be studied in detail and in many ways: how Tesla will have survived this economic tsunami; for how an enlightened and capable entrepreneur like Musk (at the beginning of the year everything was turning in his favour) failed to understand the consequences, showing an empathy reduced to the lumen; for how at the end of all this Musk will be able to rebuild his own image. All too sudden and violent not to be significant, and that’s how Elon Musk becomes a litmus test in analyzing how the United States will deal with this emergency.