- Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has been outspoken about the coronavirus crisis since early March, when he first tweeted that panic over the virus was “dumb.”
- Since then, Musk has gone on to promote a malaria drug as a potential treatment for COVID-19 patients despite a lack of scientific proof, has caused confusion over his promise to deliver ventilators to hospitals, and has promoted misinformation, such as a tweet that said “kids are essentially immune” from the virus.
- Now, Musk is lashing out against stay-at-home orders that he says are “breaking people’s freedoms in ways that are horrible and wrong.”
- “Give people back their goddamn freedom,” Musk said during a conference call following Tesla’s first-quarter earnings report.
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Throughout the coronavirus pandemic in the US, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has been outspoken about his thoughts on everything from ventilator shortages to possible treatments to the severity of the virus overall.
Now, Musk has gone a step further, calling US shelter-in-place orders “fascist” during a brief, expletive-laden rant during a conference call following Tesla’s first-quarter earnings report on Wednesday.
Musk has a history of speaking out during times of crisis. In 2018, for example, Musk offered to build a “kid-size” submarine to rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach stuck in a flooded cave in Thailand. When a British diver called Musk’s actions a “PR stunt,” Musk called the diver a “pedo guy” in a since-deleted tweet. (The comment sparked a defamation lawsuit, but Musk has since been cleared).
But as the coronavirus crisis continues to affect the US and the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country has surpassed 1 million, Musk’s recent behavior has been scrutinized. Government officials have reportedly questioned whether Musk delivered the number of ventilators he promised, and everyone including Ariana Grande’s mother and Musk’s own fans have called his statements on reopening the economy “irresponsible.”
Here’s a timeline of Musk’s behavior throughout the coronavirus crisis.