So, in what appears to be dissatisfaction unless his workers are directly in the line of harm, Elon Musk is once again creating a new set of rules for himself - just as he has done with the SEC and the NHTSA - and is defying an Alameda County coronavirus lockdown by keeping Tesla's Fremont factory open and running in the midst of a global pandemic.
The quick spread of coronavirus in the Bay Area has led to lockdowns and the shuttering off all non-essential businesses. Businesses in Alameda County are required to “cease all non-essential operations” at physical locations there, according to Bloomberg.
Alameda County has declared Tesla an “essential business” that is allowed to remain in operation, the LA Times reports.
When an Alameda County official was asked what makes Tesla "essential", he responded: "That's a good question. We're in uncharted waters right now."
When short seller Nathan Anderson of Hindenburg Research e-mailed Alameda County last night, asking if Tesla would stay open, they punted, telling Anderson he had to direct his question to Tesla. So, it looks like we know who is really running Alameda County.
I emailed Alameda County asking if Tesla is required to shut its Fremont factory down due to the shelter order.— Nate Anderson (@ClarityToast) March 17, 2020
Rather than answer, they redirected me to Tesla, which isn't responding.
It appears Alameda has made an exception for $TSLAhttps://t.co/NO5tIn3EhR pic.twitter.com/lOL2oUtuQJ
Musk apparently wrote to his staff in an e-mail Monday: “First, I’d like to be super clear that if you feel the slightest bit ill or even uncomfortable, please do not feel obligated to come to work. I will personally be at work, but that’s just me. Totally [OK] if you want to stay home for any reason.”
He continued: “My frank opinion remains that the harm from the coronavirus panic far exceeds that of the virus itself. If there is a massive redirection of medical resources out of proportion to the danger, it will result in less available care to those with critical medical needs, which does not serve the greater good.”