Trump has decided to throw his presidential weight behind Elon Musk, in the standoff between the Tesla’s CEO and Alameda County officials.
“California should let Tesla & @elonmusk open the plant NOW. It can be done Fast & Safely!” the @POTUS tweeted on Tuesday.
Last Monday (05/11/2020), Musk declared that he was going to restart production at Tesla’s only US factory.
This action is contrary to the county’s order for all manufacturers to remain closed for at least another week.
He also asked that if anyone be arrested, it should be him.
However, in light of other recent events, many saw this coming.
The reopening of Tesla comes in the wake of a series of arguments between Elon Musk and Alameda County.
The CEO tweeted on Saturday that he will sue the county.
He said, “The unelected & ignorant ‘interim health officer’ of Alameda is acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our constitutional freedoms & just plain common sense.”
The supervisor for the district where Tesla’s Fremont factory is located, Health Officer Scott Haggerty, has responded.
He explained that they were working on policies to help get the plant running by May 18th.
However, Musk wanted the plant operating by May 8th and has since made his position clear.
Alameda County has since released a press statement on the matter.
It states that it is aware that Tesla has beyond the minimum basic operations allowed.
It has notified the company that it cannot operate without a plan approved by the county.
California is among the top five states worst hit by Coronavirus.
However, as the number of new cases goes down, the state is taking measures to reopen the economy.
California’s Governor, Gavin Newsom, allowed for the reopening of retailers and the manufacturers and warehouses that support them on Friday.
However, this was only allowed on the condition that the companies follow safety guidelines.
On Saturday (05/09/2020), Tesla released its plan to keep its workers safe.
The measures are quite similar to those used by automakers in Detroit like General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, and Ford.
Tesla has already begun operations at its other plants and factories in New York, and Nevada.
These companies have begun operating since last week.
Although it has other operations in the United States, the Fremont plant is the only one that manufactures cars.
In the last few weeks, many states have effected plans to ease the restrictions set in place because of COVID-19.
Across the country, manufacturers like Honda, Toyota, and General Motors have resumed work.
These companies have set in place guidelines to curb the spread of the disease amongst workers.
Trump, who’s up for re-election in November, has shown his eagerness to reopen the economy and for Americans to begin working.
Unemployment rates have continued to climb, reaching a staggering 14.7% last month.
This number is the worst recorded since 1940, and numbers are still rising.
This incident is not the first time that Trump disagrees with officials of California.
The two forces have clashed on issues like funding for a high-speed rail, standards for auto emissions, vehicle fuel efficiency, and other issues.
During his presidency, Trump and Elon Musk have spoken numerous times and met on several occasions.
On Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom said at a press conference that he had spoken to Elon Musk.
He was optimistic that the Tesla factory could reopen “as early as next week.”
He also said that local authorities could keep stricter measures in place.
However, it was not even an hour later that Musk tweeted about the reopening of Tesla.
In another tweet, Elon has declared his intentions to leave California and move it’s headquarters to Texas or Nevada.
“If we even retain Fremont’s manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependent on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.”
The tweet above has created a scramble between states with reopened economies to court the billionaire.
Musk’s choice of words has underlined the need for jobs, as many states’ economy remains closed to curb the spread of COVID-19.
However, some states that have opened their economies in response to Trump’s continued encouragement.
Amongst them, a few have attempted to woo Musk and his billion-dollar company.
The suit leveled against Alameda County by Elon Musk claimed that the county had violated California’s constitution.
By not allowing manufacturers to open, they had defied the policy set by Governor Gavin Newsom.
Newsom has not yet responded.
Early on Tuesday, Musk tweeted an enthusiastic “Thank you!” in response to President Trump’s tweet in supporting Tesla’s reopening.
Musk also replied to a query of how things went at the factory on Monday.
“Great” he said. Tesla’s shares rose by 1.8%, and the stock has nearly doubled this year.
As of Tuesday night, the battle for Tesla’s reopening has come to an end, with a win for Musk.
The Alameda County Health Department said that the company could prepare to reopen this week and resume operations next week.
However, the reopening will only be allowed if Tesla follows guidelines.
These include measures like setting up barriers, enforcing the wearing of masks, closing break rooms, and other precautions.
It is not clear whether Elon Musk will face any repercussions in the aftermath of his disregard for the law on Monday.
However, the Fremont police department will be checking in with the company regularly.
This is to ascertain if the workers are following safety regulations and maintaining appropriate distancing.
Many other officials were not as diplomatic as Governor Newsom.
California Assemblywoman, Lorena Gonzalez, eloquently tweeted, “F*ck Elon Musk.”
Many have claimed that the statement is highly symbolic of some people’s reactions to Tesla’s reopening.
Tesla’s standoff with Alameda county officials and Musk’s defiance has come to represent the anti-quarantine politicians in the seemingly never-ending debate.
This is happening not just in America but all over the world.
When should the states be allowed to reopen their economies?
And how fast should such reopening progress?