'FREE AMERICA NOW': Elon Musk calls for businesses to reopen as coronavirus cases cross the million mark in US
The Tesla CEO applauded Texas for planning to reopen the state under specific guidelines, and asked other states to follow suit
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is calling for an end to the coronavirus lockdown in the United States after his company's stock rebounded 100 percent on Monday after reaching a low point on March 16.
While the S&P 500 has dropped over 11 percent this year, Tesla stock has advanced a whopping 84 percent. According to Dow Jones Market Data Group, the automaker's market value grew to a six-month average of an impressive $96.59 billion, Fox Business reports.
The billionaire has now called on states to get back to work and reopen businesses in a barrage of tweets on Wednesday, with the latest saying, "FREE AMERICA NOW."
In another tweet that read “Give people their freedom back!” the multifaceted engineer linked a Wall Street Journal opinion piece by millionaire T.J. Rodgers titled, "Do Lockdowns Save Many Lives? In Most Places, the Data Say No."
The op-ed saw the 72-year-old libertarian uphold Sweden’s relaxed lockdown rules as a relative success because "older people in care homes accounted for half of Sweden’s deaths.”
Musk also applauded Texas for planning to reopen the state under specific guidelines.
"Bravo Texas!" he tweeted, attaching a link to a Texas Tribune article that explained how the state was planning to get its businesses back up and running by Friday.
He added that states should "reopen with care [and] appropriate protection, but don't put everyone under de facto house arrest."
Musk also agreed with a lockdown protester overnight who tweeted, “The scariest thing about this pandemic is not the virus itself, it’s seeing American so easily bow down & give up their blood-bought freedom to corrupt politicians who promise them safety.” Musk responded by saying, “True.”
The SpaceX founder's calls for reopening America came after reports on Tuesday that Tesla was asking some of its employees to resume work at their California auto plant, despite health measures not being lifted in the state.
Tesla initially stated that it planned to resume operations on May 4.
Following lockdown protests in many places, some states have begun easing COVID-19 restrictions. Thousands have remained defiant to social distancing guidelines while demanding governments reopen businesses so they can get back to work.
On the other hand, healthcare workers have argued that it's not safe to reopen businesses and public places without mass testing provisions in place, especially since the rate of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has not decreased as much as they would have liked.
That said, this is not the first time Musk has come under scrutiny for COVID-19 related tweets. He described the "coronavirus panic" as "dumb" in a March 6 tweet.
And six days after Tesla's stock plummeted to a dramatic low last month, Musk tweeted that there would probably be "close to zero new cases" in the U.S. by the end of April "based on current trends." On March 19, he claimed that children were "essentially immune" to the pathogen.
However, the Tesla founder has contributed significantly to the country's fight against COVID-19. Last month, he closed all of its factories and reshaped its plant in Buffalo, New York into a ventilator production facility to deliver thousands of the much-needed machines to overwhelmed hospitals in New York and California.
The novel coronavirus, or SARS-CoV-2, has ravaged the United States like no other country, with over 1,013,168 confirmed cases of the virus with a staggering 58,471 deaths as of Wednesday morning, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.