Elon Musk Says He’s Surprised That ‘CNN Still Exists’ After Article Alleges He Didn’t Deliver Promised Ventilators

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted he’s surprised that “CNN still exists” Thursday while disputing a report that claimed the California governor’s office had not received ventilators he promised to send.

Musk announced last month that he had obtained over 1,000 ventilators in an effort to help California hospitals amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office allegedly said they have yet to receive Musk’s ventilators, according to CNN’s report.

“What I find most surprising is that CNN still exists,” Musk tweeted in reply to CNN’s article Thursday morning.

The Tesla CEO then tweeted at Newsom asking him to “fix this misunderstanding” and followed it up with receipts that appeared to prove he had, in fact, sent the ventilators over. The receipt shows email correspondence between Musk and Phillip Franks, LA County Health Services’ Director of System Operations and Support Services.

“They worked great during testing today,” Franks wrote on March 27 according to Musk’s screenshot. “We will put these to use tomorrow! Thanks!” (RELATED: Cuomo: ‘We Don’t Need Any Additional Ventilators’)

A follow-up email from Tesla’s Project Director Omead Afshar on March 30 indicates that the Tesla team asked if “these ventilators went into use.”

Musk also included a screenshot that appears to be from Mammoth Hospital, a general hospital in Mammoth Lakes, California. The email thanked Musk for the ventilators and was signed by CEO Tom Parker.

Mammoth Hospital’s CEO added that the “ventilators will be quickly deployed” within the hospital “in anticipation of the coming wave of parents who will be suffering from the most severe effects of COVID-19.”

CNN directed the Daily Caller to a tweet from Matt Dornic, the network’s Vice President of Communications.

“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 Thursday in reply to Musk. “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?”

CNN’s article alleges that “none of the ventilators promised by Musk have been delivered to hospitals,” citing a spokesperson for the California governor’s Office of Emergency Services. The spokesperson said that the governor’s office has “not heard of” any “hospital system that has received a ventilator directly from Tesla or Musk.”

“Elon Musk and his team told the state that he had procured ventilators and wanted to distribute them directly to hospitals with shortages,” the spokesperson said according to CNN. “The Administration is communicating every day with hospitals across the state about their ventilator supply and to date we have not heard of any hospital system that has received a ventilator directly from Tesla or Musk.”

CNN added Musk’s Twitter responses disputing the claim in its latest version of the article.