Trump backs Elon Musk in reopening of Tesla’s California factory


  • President Trump tweeted his support in Tesla’s plant reopening, saying that it should be safe and urgent.
  • Musk has been battling his plans to resume work with Alameda County’s authorities over stay-at-home measures.
  • Alameda’s health officials said they were reviewing Musk’s back to work plans.  

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump expressed support to Elon Musk in his dispute with California about reopening Tesla’s plant in the state. Trump tweeted the same day that the electric carmaker must be permitted to resume production amidst the coronavirus measures implemented by local authorities.

“California should let Tesla & @elonmusk open the plant, NOW,” Trump tweeted Tuesday. “It can be done Fast & Safely!”

The company’s proposal also got a nod from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Musk responded to Trump’s tweet by saying thank you.

Trump’s tweet came after Musk’s announcement that Tesla was to rerun production despite restrictions enforced by the county, noting that he would join his workers on the production line.

“If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me,” the tech mogul tweeted, adding that Tuesday’s continuation went well.

Musk’s action was the most recent update on his spat with Alameda County’s officials that lasted for weeks.

Tesla’s sole U.S factory is located at Alameda, and local quarantine measures have halted the plant operations since March 23. Local authorities have passed a resolution punishing county coronavirus restrictions violators with penalties of up to $1,000 per day and a maximum of 90 days jail time.

Over the weekend, the company filed a legal complaint against the county to stop it from enforcing the lockdown to the carmaker’s operations.

On Saturday, Tesla devised back to work plans which mainly urged employees to help curb the infection among workers by keeping the factories clean.

“We will continue to put people back to work in a safe and responsible manner,” Tesla posted on its blog. “However, the county’s position left us no choice but to take legal action to ensure that Tesla and its employees can get back to work.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has previously eased up its lockdown restrictions on manufacturing companies, but let local officials call the shots in implementing restrictions as needed.

On Tuesday, the health department of Alameda announced it was studying Tesla’s back to work plan. In a statement, the county expressed hope the car producer would conform without the need in imposing restrictions.

Mnuchin told CNBC on Monday that he supports Musk’s plan, noting that the billionaire is one of the major employers and industrialists in California, and the state should find ways to address its health issues so that he can restart operations soon without endangering workers.

Last month, Musk criticized the stay at home orders, noting that people were forced to be isolated at homes against their will, which is a clear violation of Americans’ constitutional rights.

Meanwhile, after Trump’s tweet of support, Tesla shares closed with a 2.2 percent increase, at $828.99.

Source: New York Post

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