BUFFALO, N.Y. — Tesla has not even let WGRZ bring a camera inside the Buffalo facility created by New York State taxpayer dollars, so it should come as no surprise, they are not confirming or denying that they are making ventilators in the Queen City.
We are asking the question because on March 25, Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk tweeted that he planned to reopen the facility in Buffalo in order to make ventilators in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
In the days that followed, there were clearly people at the Tesla facility in South Buffalo but no word from the company on if ventilator production was taking place.
Medtronic, a global healthcare solutions company, on Saturday tweeted that it was working with Musk on "a vital component for critical care ventilators." Musk retweeted that post.
Musk on Friday night tweeted that the company is working on a ventilator design, which was the first real update since his announcement more than a week ago.
Mayor Byron Brown was asked about Tesla possibly producing ventilators during a news conference.
"Tesla has announced that they would start to make components for ventilators at the gigafactory at South Buffalo here in the City of Buffalo. I do not know if that production has begun yet," the mayor said Saturday.
On Friday, 2 On Your Side's Nate Benson stopped by the facility and from a safe distance apart, asked employees if ventilator production was taking place. One person simply shrugged when asked.
Late Friday night, Musk tweeted that Tesla was working on an internal ventilator design and more information would come out on Saturday.
The desire to have his company produce ventilators seems to indicate a change in Musk's thoughts about the COVID-19 pandemic considering in early March, he tweeted "the coronavirus panic is dumb."
2 On Your Side will continue to follow this story and bring you updates as soon as we have them.