Nobody Gives a Shit, Elon!
Poor Elon Musk. COVID-19 has killed nearly 2,700 Californians so far, but he’s the one who’s truly suffering during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Tesla founder and billionaire CEO launched a fresh Twitter tantrum on Saturday. He threatened to move his electric car company out of California as a protest against the state’s coronavirus stay-at-home order.
“Frankly, this is the final straw……..Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately.”Elon Musk
Musk also insulted Alameda County’s health officer, calling her “unelected & ignorant.”
Unfortunately for Musk, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s statewide stay-at-home order is extremely popular with the vast majority of Californians. And for good reason: Our collective efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 has saved tens of thousands of lives.OPINION
That’s why tens of millions of Californians are bravely doing their part and making great sacrifices to protect the lives of their fellow citizens. Unlike Musk, most of us aren’t billionaires who will be fine no matter what.
It’s unclear whether Musk will make good on his threat to relocate. He doesn’t always follow through on the things he says during his Twitter outbursts.
In March, for example, he promised to deliver over 1,000 ventilators to California then failed to make good, a fact first reported by The Sacramento Bee Editorial Board.
Earlier in March, Musk drew criticism for tweeting “coronavirus panic is dumb” in response to concerns about the virus, which has now killed nearly 80,000 Americans. Musk also predicted the United States would have “close to zero” cases by the end of April, but the number of new infections and deaths continues to soar.
After downplaying the virus, Musk tweeted that the drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine might be possible remedies for COVID-19. Within days, against the advice of medical experts, President Donald Trump and Fox News were pushing the drugs as possible silver bullets to cure the disease. Subsequent medical studies have found that hydroxychloroquine does not help COVID-19 patients.
On May 1, Musk wiped $14 billion off of Tesla’s value with one tweet that suggested the company’s stock price was “too high.” Now, he’s demanding that California reopen his factory before it’s safe to do so – or else.
Mr. Musk’s company makes sleek and beautiful electric cars that are revolutionizing the auto industry and could help save humankind from climate change. California has provided millions of dollars in tax credits to support Tesla’s work in the state.
But Musk has zero relevant knowledge on COVID-19 and his medical opinions lack value. His growing track record of erratic and erroneous Twitter declarations makes it increasingly hard to take him seriously. And his attacks on public officials expose him as a bullying troll with no regard for anything beyond his own business interests.
California’s public health officials must ignore Musk’s ranting and stay the course. Twitter threats from bratty billionaires, anti-vaccine activists and middle-aged “militia members” should play no role in guiding public health policy in the middle of a deadly pandemic.
And what should California’s leaders say if Tesla decides to pick up its toys and move elsewhere?