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Musk Reopens Factory 'Against County Rules'

CEO fighting stay-at-home orders offers to be arrested on Tesla production line
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2020 6:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – For weeks, Elon Musk has been ripping the stay-at-home orders that have kept his auto factory in Fremont, California, shut down during the pandemic. On Monday, the Tesla CEO graduated to open defiance. "Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules," Musk tweeted. Saying that he'll be on the line himself, he added, "If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me." Musk has said the restrictions are unconstitutional, and Tesla has filed a federal lawsuit against the county, CNN reports. He's also threatened to move the company out of California. Musk's pandemic analysis has been flawed throughout, per the Drive: He said the nation would be down to "close to zero" cases by the end of April, argued that the coronavirus is no more dangerous than the flu, and advocated the drug chloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment.

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Local officials said they're negotiating with Tesla, per TechCrunch. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that state officials also are involved in talks with the company and local governments, and that the factory might be allowed to reopen as soon as next week. The governor's reopening steps announced last week left room for manufacturing to resume. Newsom left the decision to county officials on Monday, while saying he'd talked recently with Musk and has "great reverence" for Tesla. That drew a thank-you tweet from Musk. Support arrived from the Trump administration on Monday, as well, when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the state should help Tesla reopen, per CNBC. "I agree with Elon Musk," Mnuchin said. (Read more Elon Musk stories.)

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