"FREE AMERICA NOW." If you're at all confused by what Elon Musk meant with that early Wednesday morning tweet, have no fear: It was one of a number of tweets he posted in response to the lockdown—which he's no fan of. "Give people their freedom back!" he wrote in another, along with a link to a Wall Street Journal op-ed (one not penned by a medical professional) that asserts the data shows lockdowns didn't save many lives in most places. In the third, he called out Texas with a "bravo!" and shared an article about a good portion of the state opening on Friday. The Hill reports that while he allowed in a subsequent tweet that states should "reopen with care & appropriate protection," he also said our leaders shouldn't have "everyone under de facto house arrest."
It's not a new tune for Musk, who in March called the coronavirus panic "dumb." At the Drive, Patrick George notes the timing of the tweets: ahead of Tesla's Wednesday afternoon Q1 earnings call. George allows that his reaction might be an overly cynical one, "but I see the tweets and the missives ... being less about his staunch belief in American freedom and more about capitalizing on the hard-fought momentum (and market capitalization) Tesla started with in 2020." Musk "wants his employees back at work building the Model Y, especially, because it's Tesla's most important car yet," George writes, and one that comes at "a pivotal moment for Tesla—one where it was riding high on valuation before the crisis and on the eve of releasing what's likely to be its best-selling car to date." (Read more Elon Musk stories.)