Tesla CEO Elon Musk is defying the stay-at-home order of Alameda County.
“Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules. I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me,” Musk said on Twitter.
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According to Alameda County health officer Erica Pan, “We have not given the green light. We have been working with them…but no, we have not said that we think that it is appropriate for them to move forward.”
On Monday, employees from Tesla’s Fremont facility went to work. According to Musk, Pan’s decision was “the final straw.”
“Frankly, this is the final straw,” Musk tweeted. “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 dependent on how Tesla is treated in the future.”
In a separate tweet, Musk called the health official “ignorant.”
“Tesla knows far more about what needs to be done to be safe,” Musk said in a reply to another tweet. He said their “Tesla China factory experience” gave them more know-how “than an (unelected) interim junior official in Alameda County,”
The Governor’s Response
During the state’s coronavirus briefing on Monday, Gov. Newsom said about Tesla: “I have long been a strong advocate and supporter, early adopter, of the technology. I have not only known that company but I have known its founder for many many years. I have great reverence for their technology, for their innovative spirit, for their leadership, and I have great expectations that we can work through at the county level, the issue with this particular county and this company in the next number of days.”
According to Newsom, his understanding is “they have had some very constructive conversations with the folks at that facility.”
The county health director and [Tesla] are working to focus on the health and safety of the employees at that facility and my belief and hope and expectation is as early as next week, they will be able to resume,” he also said.