Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla, has been battling with Democratic leadership in the state of California over the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, threatening to move Tesla’s headquarters and other assets out of the state if it does not reopen soon, as reported by CNN.
The feud started when Musk demanded that Tesla be allowed to reopen its facility in Fremont, California. When the local government of Alameda County refused, Musk announced via Twitter that Tesla would be filing a lawsuit against the county, claiming that the prolonged shutdown was “acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms, & just plain common sense.”
The eccentric mega-billionaire then followed up with another tweet declaring this to be “the final straw,” and that “Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately.” He added that “if we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependent on how Tesla is treated in the future,” and pointed out that “Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.”
In response, Musk was criticized by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-Calif.) of the 80th district, who simply tweeted “F*ck Elon Musk.” She then followed up with a longer tweet, falsely accusing Musk and Tesla of having “disregarded worker safety & well-being,” as well as having “engaged in union busting & [bullying] public servants.” She added that while she “probably could’ve expressed my frustration in a less aggressive way…no one would’ve cared if I tweeted that.”Musk has been very outspoken about the ongoing economic shutdown over the coronavirus, even describing it as “fascist.” Although the federal quarantine guidelines expired on April 30th, and the vast majority of states have either partially reopened or will soon begin reopening, a handful of states have remained shut down indefinitely. These include the entirety of the West Coast, including California, as well as much of the Northeast and the Rust Belt.