By Chris White
Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggested Saturday that he is suing a California county after “unelected & ignorant” health officials spoiled his plans to reopen over coronavirus concerns.
Musk criticized local California officials, saying that he is preparing to relocate to Texas or Nevada after Alameda County Public Health Department interim health officer Erica Pan said Friday that Tesla does not have the okay to reopen.
“Tesla is filing a lawsuit against Alameda County immediately,” Musk wrote on Twitter before condemning the county’s “unelected & ignorant” health care officials who he said are “acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms & just plain common sense!”
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
Alameda County, where Tesla’s headquarters are based, “is still a bit stricter” on when businesses can open up, Pan told reporters during an online town hall meeting.
“We have not given the green light. We have been working with them looking at some of their safety plans. But no, we have not said that it is appropriate to move forward,” she said after being asked about Tesla in particular.
Musk was not impressed with Pan’s remarks.
“Frankly, this is the final straw,” he said in a following tweet. “Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependen [sic] on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.”
This is not the first time the tech tycoon has lashed out at officials over the coronavirus pandemic. Musk criticized government officials in April for instituting economic lockdowns, calling them “fascist” during an April first-quarter Tesla earnings call.
Stay-at-home orders were instituted throughout the country to slow the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 75,000 people in the United States.
Musk said during the call that people should be allowed to quarantine themselves if they wish, but added: “to say that they cannot leave their house, and they will be arrested if they do, this is fascist. This is not democratic. This is not freedom. Give people back their goddamn freedom.”
Meanwhile, California’s economy is falling off a proverbial cliff.
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home orders in March forced non-essential businesses to close, prompting millions of Californians to file for unemployment. The Democrat’s administration is predicting that the state will hit 18% unemployment after registering a 3.9% unemployment rate at the start of 2020.
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