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Poll: Have Elon Musk’s COVID-19 shutdown comments affected your opinion of Tesla?

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been quite vocal both on Twitter and at last night’s earnings call about the COVID-19 shutdown. Musk is in favor of reopening the US immediately and thinks the positives in doing so outweigh the negatives. There has been both positive and negative reaction to this, but we wanted to see how our readers felt.  Please vote and comment below.

If you’ve somehow missed the Tweets or commentary from last night’s earnings call, we’ve summed up below.

Musk appeared to stay on the script during the first part of the conference call, alluding to the COVID-19 crisis as bump in the road and headwind. After prepared retail investor comments came an unscripted question from Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas about liquidity. Musk’s response included this statement:

So the extension of the shelter in place or, frankly, I would call it, forcibly imprisoning people in their homes against all their constitutional rights, that in my opinion, and breaking people’s freedoms in ways that are horrible and wrong is not why people came to America or built this country, what the fuck? Excuse me. But outrage — it’s an outrage. So — but it will cause great harm, not just to Tesla, but to many companies…

I think the people are going to be very angry about this and are very angry, because somebody should really — if somebody wants to stay in their house, that’s great. They should be allowed to stay in the house, and they should not be compelled to leave. But 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.

As for Twitter, here’s a short history of Elon’s Tweets.


Electrek’s Take

I’m just a writer and publisher with an engineering background so I’ll admit first and foremost, I don’t know the answer to this problem. In fact, I don’t think anyone, including the experts, does.

But it seems like the lockdown works in reducing the infection rate, which is allowing the economy to slowly be opened up. In New York, for instance, we are already opening hospitals for elective surgery and have plans to open manufacturing and construction in a few weeks (including the Gigafactory here). The lockdown, while hard, worked. In that time, we’ve been able to ramp up testing and contact tracing, which will allow us to find infections fast and isolate them.

The alternative, which Elon and others are recommending, is opening up everything. Sweden stayed open, and has seen an elevated infection and death rate but also have immunity and outcomes come quicker while allowing the economy to open up. Elon seems fixated on the death rate not being as bad as it has been reported, but his sources are questionable.

That’s just my take.

We’ll be moderating the comments here to try to keep things civil, but feel free to go nuts on Twitter.

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Avatar for Seth Weintraub Seth Weintraub

Publisher and Editorial Director of the 9to5/Electrek sites. Tesla Model 3, X and Chevy Bolt owner…5 ebikes and counting