Musk's reaction to the coronavirus crisis has been a confusing mix.
- Elon Musk said in a series of tweets on Tuesday that coronavirus-related lockdowns should be relaxed.
- "Give people their freedom back!" Musk tweeted alongside a Wall Street Journal opinion article that questioned the effectiveness of lockdown orders.
- Musk's tweets came just a day after news broke that Tesla decided to cancel plans to make employees return to work.
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk is protesting the various lockdowns meant to curb the novel coronavirus' spread in the US.
Late on Tuesday, Musk tweeted a Wall Street Journal opinion article that called into question how effective lockdown orders were for saving lives. "Give people their freedom back!" Musk tweeted next to the article link.
—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 29, 2020
The billionaire then hailed a news piece that said restaurants and retailers in Texas would be able to reopen this week under strict new rules. "Bravo Texas!" Musk said, adding in a follow-up tweet that places should "reopen with care & appropriate protection, but don't put everyone under de facto house arrest."
Next, Musk simply tweeted the words "FREE AMERICA NOW."
Musk's response to the coronavirus pandemic has been a confusing mix. The billionaire has consistently downplayed the severity of the crisis, and he once incorrectly tweeted that children were "essentially immune" to the virus.
Musk also pledged to supply ventilators to hospitals and retool his Tesla factories to manufacture the machines.
Last week, Tesla directed some of its employees to return to work on April 29, despite state instructions to keep staff to a minimum until May 4. CNBC reported on Tuesday that Tesla had canceled its plans to make employees return to work this week.
Though polls indicate widespread support in the US for even the stricter measures meant to mitigate the coronavirus' impact, lockdown protests have taken place across the US. President Donald Trump showed sympathy for the protesters during a press conference last week, saying they were "good people" suffering from cabin fever. The official guidance from the administration, however, remains that states should lift lockdowns only gradually.