Tesla CEO Elon Musk pushed for America to reopen from its coronavirus lockdowns in a series of tweets early Wednesday, April 29, demanding at one point that governors “give people their freedom back.”
“FREE AMERICA NOW,” wrote Musk, who’s come under fire in the past for his statements on Twitter as well as safety precautions at Tesla’s workplaces.
He also praised articles talking about states loosening their social distancing guidelines, including descriptions of how Texas businesses plan to open on Friday.
“Yes, reopen with care & appropriate protection, but don’t put everyone under de facto house arrest,” Musk said.
Musk is the latest to vent frustrations about opening businesses back up to get the economy going again. But experts have warned that lifting restrictions too soon could result in a surge of coronavirus case numbers and more deaths.
Even Musk’s own company backed off plans to reopen. Tesla’s California factory was scheduled to start its operations back up again this week but later reversed its decision after California’s stay-at-home order was extended to May 30.
Wednesday’s controversial tweets are not the first time the tech billionaire has been criticized for how he is responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
Musk has long downplayed the dangers of the coronavirus, infamously tweeting on March 6 as the disease spread that “the coronavirus panic is dumb.” He later predicted that U.S. cases would drop close to zero by the end of April.
There were nearly 24,000 new reported cases of coronavirus Wednesday, with just under 2,250 people dying of the disease in the U.S. on Wednesday alone.
After Musk donated ventilators to hospitals fighting the deadly disease, many people were quick to point out that the noninvasive BiPAP and CPAP machines that Musk’s company donated aren’t able to deliver oxygen straight to the lungs.
Musk responded to his Twitter critics, saying that the BiPAP machines could be converted into the ventilators required to treat coronavirus patients.
For the latest updates on the novel coronavirus outbreak, visit the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 page.
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