Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter on Saturday afternoon and threatened to sue the state of California. He also threatened to move the company’s production facility to Texas or Nevada over what he calls “the last straw.”
“Tesla is filing a lawsuit against Alameda County immediately,” Musk tweeted on Saturday. “The unelected & ignorant “Interim Health Officer” of Alameda is acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms & just plain common sense!”
Musk is referencing the Alameda County health officer’s decision. The said officer did not allow the Freemont, California factory to reopen and resume production. Musk and Tesla say this was permitted by California Governor Gavin Newsome on Thursday when he said that manufacturers would be allowed to resume operations.
“Frankly, this is the final straw,” Musk added in a subsequent tweet. “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.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time Musk has railed against the lockdown order.
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During Tesla’s earnings call in early May, he described that the shelter-in-place orders in California had “fascist” qualities. He also mentioned that government officials should “give people back their (expletive) freedom.”
“The expansion of shelter-in-place, or as we call it, forcibly imprisoning people in their homes, against all their constitutional rights, is, in my opinion, breaking people’s freedoms in ways that are horrible and wrong, and not why people came to America and built this country,” Musk said. “What the (expletive)!”
Erica Pan said that the county was working with Tesla on a resolution. She is the Alameda County “unelected and ignorant” health officer that Musk referred to. However, the county gave no approval to resume production.
“We have not given the green light,” Pan said. “We have been working with them,” she added. “But no, we have not said that we think that it is appropriate for them to move forward.”
Tesla Can’t Wait
On Friday, she told Reuters that the health department had asked Tesla to wait. She mentioned that the department only asked to wait at least one more week before reopening. The county needs time to continue monitoring infection rates and discuss the safest way to bring back workers.
“This has been a collaborative, good faith effort to develop and implement a safety plan that allows for reopening while protecting the health and well-being of the thousands of employees who travel to and from work at Tesla’s factory,” the Alameda Health Department said in a statement provided to CNN. “The team at Tesla has been responsive to our guidance and recommendations, and we look forward to coming to an agreement on an appropriate safety plan very soon.”
Last week, reports surfaced, saying that Musk’s Shanghai factory will shut down due to a lack of parts. His plans for the Freemont Plant partially caused his rant. He wanted the plant to reopen so that production for the parts needed in China can start.
Musk also says Tesla knows better how to safely reopen the Freemont plant than country health officials. He says Tesla’s experience in reopening in China factory after lockdown gave them such knowledge.
“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,” he tweeted.
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