Elon Musk Blasts Coronavirus Lockdowns: 'FREE AMERICA NOW'

Elon Musk has clearly had enough of the lockdowns being advised by experts to limit the spread of COVID-19, writing on Twitter today: "FREE AMERICA NOW."

The Tesla boss vented his frustrations while praising Texas Governor Greg Abbott's plans to reopen some businesses in the state from Friday and sharing a newspaper op-ed with the caption: "Give people their freedom back!"

In response to one Twitter comment, Musk wrote: "Reopen with care and appropriate protection, but don't put everyone under de facto house arrest."

The outspoken billionaire, who frequently uses the social network to voice his personal opinions, blasted the nationwide lockdowns after it surfaced that Tesla had been forced to scrap plans to recall workers and resume production at its Fremont, California, plant this week, as officials extended health orders on Monday, as reported by CNBC.

It's unclear if that is what sparked Musk's Twitter comments.


— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 29, 2020

Bravo Texas! https://t.co/cVkDewRqGv

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 29, 2020

Give people their freedom back! https://t.co/iG8OYGaVZ0

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 29, 2020

According to Bloomberg, Tesla workers were no longer expected to return to work after the guidance was pushed by Alameda County health officials. The rules currently in place mean that Tesla's factory can only operate at a level of basic operation.

Tesla previously indicated production could restart around May 4. The shelter-in-place orders across the state were set to expire on May 3, but would now extend through the month, according to a statement issued Monday by Bay Area officials.

"If we move too fast to ease restrictions, the potential of exponential spread could have grave impacts to health and wellness of residents as well as the economy," it read.

The decision had an immediate impact on Tesla's factory, which produces Model S and Model X electric vehicle models. "We will not be returning to work Wednesday, April 29. Please disregard all communication and directives on returning to work this week," one human resources employee wrote in a staff note obtained by CNBC.

Previously, the electric car company was forced to slash salaried employees' pay and furlough workers due to the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"While we are continuing to keep only minimum critical operations running, we expect to resume normal production at our U.S. facilities on May 4, barring any significant changes," North American HR chief Valerie Workman wrote in an email to staff members earlier this month, describing the internal changes as a "shared sacrifice."

Tesla has been contacted for comment by Newsweek.

The Fremont plant temporarily suspended production on March 23. Basic operations would continue to support charging infrastructure, Tesla confirmed in a release.

The company said: "Our factory in New York will temporarily suspend production as well, except for those parts and supplies necessary for service, infrastructure and critical supply chains. Operations of our others facilities will continue, including Nevada and our service and Supercharging network." For now, the Tesla lockdown continues.

Health experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) urge citizens to maintain social distancing and avoid large gatherings of people, as lockdowns have been put in place across the country in an attempt to limit person-to-person contact, which is one way the disease spreads.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC.
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.