Elon Musk Unleashes Against Lockdowns: 'FREE AMERICA NOW'


In a series of tweets Tuesday night, Elon Musk expressed his frustration with the lockdowns that have kept Americans at home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Give people their freedom back!” the Tesla and SpaceX CEO tweeted along with a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed arguing government officials’ rapid shutdown of the U.S. economy had little impact on the death toll from COVID-19.

He said the economy should be reopened “with care & appropriate protection, but don’t put everyone under de facto house arrest.”

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Musk also praised Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to reopen some businesses — including retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls — in the Lone Star State on Friday.

“FREE AMERICA NOW,” his final tweet read.

Although Musk didn’t mention it in his tweets, Tesla was forced this week to scrap plans to call workers back to its production plant in Fremont, California, because of extended stay-at-home orders, CNBC reported.

In internal communications viewed by CNBC, Tesla had asked furloughed workers last Friday to come back to the plant on Wednesday to resume production.

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On Monday, a human resources employee announced that the company was pushing back that date.

“Per the direction of the executive leadership team, we will not be returning to work Wednesday, April 29,” the employee wrote.

“Please disregard all communication and directives on returning to work this week.”

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This change comes after the release of a joint statement from the health officer of Alameda County — where Fremont factory is located — and six of her peers that said they will be extending the shelter-in-place orders that were set to expire May 3.

Last month, Tesla, which sought to stay open, clashed with officials in the city of Fremont over the federal government’s definition of critical infrastructure sectors, Bloomberg reported at the time.

Fremont Police Chief Kimberly Petersen virtually met with city officials, including assistant counsel for the county Scott Dickey, on March 19 and determined that the company needed to cease operations.

“Mr. Dickey informed city staff that Dr. Pan does not consider Tesla to be an essential business, but rather, considers Tesla’s manufacturing plant to be a public health risk,” Petersen wrote in a letter to Tesla.

The Bay Area’s stay-at-home orders announced on March 16 were the earliest to be put in place in the U.S.

A spokeswoman for the county’s health department said the order “appears to be working, but we don’t want to risk restoring all daily activities too soon,” according to Bloomberg.

Tesla shares dropped more than 1 percent after the extended orders were announced after jumping over 10 percent during the day, CNBC reported.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith