- Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent a series of tweets last night showing his disdain for shelter-in-play orders.
- The tweets were sent after Alameda County officials extended its shelter-in-place order, which is likely to keep the Fremont factory closed for another month.
- Last night’s tweets are part of a history of posts from the Tesla CEO questioning the extent of the pandemic and government response to the situation.
The night before Tesla’s first-quarter 2020 financial results, CEO Elon Musk sent a series of tweets critical of lockdowns currently in effect in many states. He praised Texas for opening retailers and restaurants, sent a link to an opinion article from The Wall Street Journal written by three entrepreneurs that noted that not all locations need to be locked down, and ended the trifecta with “FREE AMERICA NOW.”
The series of tweets came after the home of the Fremont factory, Alameda county (along with five other Bay Area counties) expanded shelter-in-place orders through May and California governor Gavin Newsom announced a four-stage process for opening the state back up.
Both of those announcements have likely put a halt to Tesla’s plan to reopen the Fremont factory on May 3. The company had originally planned to open the facility on April 29, the day before a previous shelter-in-place deadline of May 1. We’ve reached out to Tesla for comment about the extended shelter-in-place orders.
After the initial shelter-in-place orders were given, the Fremont factory was slow to close and only did so after a visit from the Fremont Police Department and city manager.
Musk (who is not a doctor or an epidemiologist) has long downplayed the pandemic via his Twitter account, including his famous tweet that the pandemic panic is dumb and via an email to the employees of his other company Space-X. He also tweeted on March 19 that “based on current trends” there would probably be no new cases of coronavirus at the end of April. He was of course wrong. According to the CDC, there are currently 981,246 cases and 55,258 deaths in the United States as of April 28.
In addition to not being a fan of the government’s handling of the pandemic situation, he seems also to be questioning the ethics of elected officials, and he is not alone. A Musk follower tweeted, “The scariest thing about this pandemic is not the virus itself, it’s seeing Americans so easily bow down & give up their blood bought freedom to corrupt politicians who promise them safety.”
Musk’s reply, “true.”