Elon Musk may reopen his Tesla factory within a week provided the electric vehicle maker meets safety requirements, local California officials announced Wednesday.
Tesla can reopen its Fremont, California, plant as soon as May 18 if the company meets agreed-upon safety standards to limit the spread of COVID-19, the Alameda County Public Health Department said in a media statement.
Alameda County’s decision comes after Musk battled health officials over whether Tesla has a right to reopen, and threatened to move the plant to Texas.
“We will be working with the Fremont Police Department to verify Tesla is adhering to physical distancing and that agreed upon health and safety measures are in place for the safety of their workers as they prepare for full production,” the county health department said.
Alameda County Update on Tesla, May 12: We received Tesla’s site-specific Fremont COVID-19 Prevention and Control Plan yesterday as anticipated. A site-specific plan is a part of the Governor’s guidance for reopening manufacturing. pic.twitter.com/KsooDIKUYG
— Alameda County Public Health Department (@Dare2BWell) May 13, 2020
The county’s decision is dependent on whether Tesla adheres to additional safety precautions, and may change if the coronavirus pandemic becomes more severe.
Musk lashed out at officials Monday, saying he is preparing to relocate to Texas or Nevada after Alameda County Public Health Department interim health officer Erica Pan said Friday that Tesla would not be allowed to reopen.
Tesla filed a lawsuit against the county for “acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms & just plain common sense!” Musk announced Saturday on Twitter.
Tesla is filing a lawsuit against Alameda County immediately. The unelected & ignorant “Interim Health Officer” of Alameda is acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms & just plain common sense!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2020
Musk told his Twitter followers Monday that he is reopening the plant regardless, adding that he would “be on the line” with his workers.
“I’ve had the opportunity to talk to Elon Musk and he’s genuinely interested in Texas and genuinely frustrated with California,” Abbott said during an interview with Wichita Falls CBS affiliate.
“We’ve just got to wait and see how things play out.”
Some conservatives and opponents of economic lockdowns expressed support for the Silicon Valley billionaire.
President Donald Trump, for instance, backed Musk and called on California to allow Tesla to reopen the plant.
“California should let Tesla & @elonmusk open the plant, NOW. It can be done Fast & Safely!” Trump tweeted Tuesday.
California should let Tesla & @elonmusk open the plant, NOW. It can be done Fast & Safely!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2020
Neither Tesla nor Alameda County have responded to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s repeated requests for comment about the possibility of reopening.
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