Elon Musk defies Coronavirus lockdown order to open Tesla factory

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has confirmed that he’s reopening his company’s car factory in California in clear violation of a local shelter-in-place order amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Musk said he’ll be on the company’s production line this week alongside his workers, adding: “If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me,” he wrote.

The controversial Tesla boss is one of the fiercest critics of the lockdown to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

After initially fighting the order, Tesla shut down the factory on March 23rd.

Musk has argued that the statewide stay-at-home order put in place by Governor Gavin Newsom left room for Tesla’s auto manufacturing plant to remain open, prompting him to file a lawsuit against the county.

On Monday, Newsom said that the state has had “very constructive conversations” with the county officials and Tesla representatives and that he hoped the company could open up “as early as next week.”

The Verge reported that Tesla started making cars on Monday, and told all of the employees that it placed on furlough to get ready to go back to work or take unpaid leave in order to stay home.

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