Elon Musk v public health: a timeline of the Tesla factory standoff

May 13, 2020 at 06:00AM

The billionaire has defied shelter-in-place orders and styled himself as an anti-lockdown hero. This is how we got here

On Monday 11 May, Elon Musk attempted to fashion himself into a hero of the anti-public-health movement when he dared authorities to arrest him for restarting production at Tesla’s northern California car plant, in defiance of the local shelter-in-place order. Neither Musk nor anyone else has been arrested, but his action has placed state and local officials in the difficult situation of figuring out whether and how to enforce coronavirus restrictions against a litigious billionaire who is also a major employer.

On Tuesday, his cause gained the support of another hot-headed executive with an overactive Twitter account: Donald Trump. “California should let Tesla & @elonmusk open the plant, NOW,” the president tweeted Tuesday morning. “It can be done Fast & Safely!”

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