Musk, Medtronic discuss ventilators amid coronavirus outbreak

FILE PHOTO: SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the automobile awards "Das Goldene Lenkrad" given by a German newspaper in Berlin, Germany, November 12, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo

(Reuters) - As the United States is combating a shortage of ventilators and respirators amid the coronavirus outbreak, Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said he has had a discussion about ventilators with medical device maker Medtronic.

"Just had a long engineering discussion with Medtronic about state-of-the-art ventilators," Musk tweeted on Saturday.

Medtronic confirmed having a discussion with Musk but neither elaborated further on the topic of the discussion or whether they will lead to any material steps.

Musk earlier this week offered to make ventilators for coronavirus sufferers, after the U.S. appealed for donations of respirator masks to fight a shortage.

Governments across the world, including in the U.S., are drafting automakers and aerospace manufacturers to ramp up production of ventilators and other medical equipment.

Reporting by Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Chris Reese