Tesla Donating Ventilators To Hospitals Should Not Take Center Stage

True charity does not need to be recognized to reach its goals.

This is a text I wish I never had to write. Yet, here I am. Not because I wanted to do it, but because it was necessary. It has to do with the latest tweetstorm Elon Musk has started to prove he and Tesla have donated ventilators to hospitals. My point is that he shouldn’t – for multiple reasons.

Tesla proudly claims to be a company that sells its cars without spending a dime in advertising. Its clients would tell other clients how good Tesla cars are, and that makes almost everyone want to buy those EVs. That has worked well until now.

Elon Musk also does not have to prove anything to anyone. He went from fixing a 1978 BMW 320i with junkyard parts in 1995 to become one of the wealthiest men in the world in 2020. He helped create the only American car manufacturer to produce 1 million vehicles in decades. What you think or do not think about him doesn’t make a difference in his accomplishments.

That said, why are both so worried about the ventilators? Why do they have to prove they have donated them? What is the goal: to have proper recognition or to help? In this situation, these goals are almost mutually exclusive. You cannot have both. Not at the same time, at least.

The background could help explain Musk’s reaction, but not entirely. Initially, the Tesla CEO did not consider the COVID-19 pandemic to be so severe. When reality kicked in, he started recommending the use of chloroquine. Both he and Donald Trump did these things, which led us to write an article about how similar these two men were when it relates to this public health disaster.

Evidence that Musk downplayed the COVID-19 pandemic is still present. Tesla refused to respect the lockdown Alameda County issued. The company said it was obliged to continue to operate, but documents obtained by InsideEVs prove it used its condition as Critical Infrastructure to keep business as usual.