In complete defiance of the lockdown rules in the area, he recently chose to plow ahead with reopening Tesla’s Fremont car factory as if he were above the law. And while it does indeed seem like it’s more about profits than anything else, some speculate that some sort of underhanded accounting scam could also be at play – that perhaps something will look obviously “amiss” in his company’s financials if it’s common knowledge that their main plant was closed during the quarter.
Musk recently sued local authorities in Fremont, calling Alameda’s Interim Health Officer “unelected and ignorant” despite her impressive qualifications. He also threatened to move the company’s headquarters to Texas or Nevada in response to their enforcement of lockdown rules designed to protect the lives of Californians, leading many to believe he simply doesn’t care whether people live or die.
His antics drew a very direct rebuke from one Democratic state politician, San Diego’s Lorena S. Gonzalez, who tweeted “F*ck Elon Musk.”
It’s a sentiment that many people have been thinking for a long time, but criticism of the eccentric CEO has reached new heights in the wake of his dangerous stubbornness on the factory issue.
Since the release of Tesla’s first quarter earnings at the end of last month, Musk has been very vocal in complaining about stay at home orders, calling the restrictions “fascist” and calling for the government to stop taking away people’s freedoms.
His tweets have always drawn attention for being a little "out there," but the latest ones are dripping with arrogance. Here are two examples:
“Tesla knows far more about what needs to be done to be safe through our Tesla China factory experience than an (unelected) interim junior official in Alameda County”.
“I’m not messing around. Absurd [and] medically irrational behavior in violation of constitutional civil liberties, moreover by unelected county officials with no accountability, needs to stop.”
Somehow, he thinks he knows more about public health than qualified medical professionals. The woman he was attacking, Dr. Erica S. Pan, who is acting as interim health officer of Alameda County, is a pediatric infectious disease specialist who graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine and has been in practice for more than two decades.
Many believe his threats to move the factory aren’t serious, however, with analysts saying that such a move would take a year if not longer and could risk his vehicle’s manufacturing and logistics processes in the meantime at a time when the economy is already taking a serious hit.
CleanTechnica, a blog that used to be one of Musk’s biggest cheerleaders, recently published a blog post showing that they’ve finally had enough of him. The article by Steve Hanley starts with the line “For years, I have had a sneaking suspicion that Elon Musk is an arrogant ass,” citing his business and marketing approaches and his flaunting of SEC regulations before going on to mention the Alameda County spat.
Hanley writes how unwise it was for him to tell Alameda County officials to “take their public health directives and shove them” and threaten to move his firm to another state. He commented: “Both come across as the actions of a self-important jerk who believes he can defecate in the middle of a crowded room and pretend nothing out of the ordinary happened.”
The article closes by calling him “an overgrown baby,” and it's hard to disagree with that assessment. Although it would be nice if we could just ignore him and hope he goes away, the sad truth is that his irresponsible actions could be putting countless people at risk of a deadly virus.
Sources for this article include: