elon musk

Elon Musk Is Literally Asking to be Arrested for Reopening His Tesla Factory

"If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me."
12 May 2020, 5:29am
Elon Musk, Founder and Chief Engineer of SpaceX, attends the Satellite 2020 Conference in Washington, DC, United States on March 9, 2020.

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

Elon Musk is daring California authorities to arrest him for reopening his Tesla manufacturing plant — which violates the state’s stay-at-home order.

“Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules. I will be on the line with everyone else,” the Tesla CEO said in a tweet. “If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.”

The CEO has for weeks railed against the shelter-in-place orders that have proliferated across the country to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The orders, he’s argued, have kept him from making cars at his enormous Tesla factory in Fremont, California.

California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, is beginning to ease the restrictions on the manufacturing plants, but is deferring to local authorities on whether to allow specific plants to resume production. Officials in Alameda County, where the Fremont plant is located, told Musk to pump the brakes on getting production going again.

Musk responded by calling the lockdown orders “fascist,” filing a lawsuit, and threatening to move his factory to Texas. He also called the local Alameda public health chief “unelected & ignorant.”

One state lawmaker, State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, wasn’t amused. “F*ck Elon Musk,” she tweeted.

The threat to move his plant out of California got some attention outside of the state. A judge in Hidalgo County, Texas wrote an open-letter to Musk, encouraging him to bring his business to Texas. Even Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin weighed in on Musk’s side.

“I agree with Elon Musk,” Mnuchin said on CNBC on Monday. “He’s one of the biggest employers and manufacturers in California. California should prioritize doing whatever they need to do to solve those health issues so that he can open quickly and safely.”

Despite Musk’s combativeness, Newsom appeared willing to play ball with Tesla. He said on Monday he believed that “constructive conversations” were underway between Musk and local officials. “My belief and hope and expectation is as early as next week, they will be able to resume,” Newsom said, before Musk tweeted that he’d be reopening his factory.

The company made [public its back-to-work plan](http://The company made public its back-to-work plan, which it said was based on its reopening plan for the Shanghai Gigafactory, including temperature scans and social distancing within the factory. Workers were already scheduled for shifts this week at the Fremont factory before Musk filed his lawsuit, MSNBC reported over the weekend.), which it said was based on its reopening plan for the Shanghai Gigafactory, including temperature scans and social distancing within the factory. Workers were already scheduled for shifts this week at the Fremont factory before Musk filed his lawsuit, MSNBC reported over the weekend.

It’s not clear based on the company’s reopening playbook that everyone at the factory would get company-provided PPE. Some workers might be required to bring their own.

Despite Musk’s combativeness, Newsom appeared willing to play ball with Tesla. He said on Monday he believed that “constructive conversations” were underway between Musk and local officials. “My belief and hope and expectation is as early as next week, they will be able to resume,” Newsom said, before Musk tweeted that he’d be reopening his factory.

Hours later, Musk defiantly announced he’d be reopening anyway.

Cover: Elon Musk, Founder and Chief Engineer of SpaceX, attends the Satellite 2020 Conference in Washington, DC, United States on March 9, 2020. (Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)