Trump Sides With Elon Musk on Reopening

President says Tesla factory in California should be allowed to reopen 'NOW'
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2020 12:32 PM CDT

(Newser) – President Trump is picking sides in Elon Musk's fight to reopen his Tesla factory. California should let him do so "NOW," the president tweeted Tuesday. "It can be done Fast & Safely!" Musk actually reopened the facility in Fremont Monday, though it's not yet clear if it will stay that way. "If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me," he tweeted. Musk's beef isn't actually with the state of California, but with Alameda County, which has adopted a stricter stance than the state on the reopening. The county says Tesla is allowed to resume "minimum basic operations," reports Business Insider. However, Tesla was supposed to have submitted an operations plan for county review by Monday evening, and the outcome of the fight may hinge on that. In the meantime, KTVU notes that the factory's parking lot was full on Monday. Related coverage:

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  • Big figure: "Musk’s move is the most striking instance to date of a powerful company pushing back on government-mandated COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, making him a de facto ally of the protesters who have rallied at sites from Huntington Beach to the Michigan statehouse to demand their end," per the Los Angeles Times.
  • Ditto: Musk, who has railed against the lockdown for weeks, has "emerged as a champion of defying stay-home orders intended to stop the coronavirus from spreading, picking up support—as well as critics—on social media," per the AP.
  • 2 views: In a op-ed at NBC News, David R. Wheeler complains that Musk's wealth is based on "science and engineering," and yet he is disregarding the advice of leading scientists on COVID-19. "He is seemingly treating the pandemic like it’s a game of The Sims, in which his choices are nothing more than tactics to win a challenge in a virtual world," writes Wheeler. The problem is that, unlike in the game, this has "life-and-death consequences." But at CNBC, Jim Cramer thinks Musk is "dead right" in his push to reopen.
(Read more President Trump stories.)

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