Elon Musk Defies California Lockdown Orders to Open Tesla Factory

Despite lockdown orders in place in California to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, billionaire Elon Musk has reopened his Tesla factory, according to CNN.

When workers returned to work Monday, Musk tweeted he would be “on the line with everyone else.” He also made plans in case of push back from local officials. “If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me,” Musk said in a tweet.

Musk has asserted over Twitter that stay at home orders in Alameda County, where Tesla is based, are unconstitutional. He filed a lawsuit against the county last Saturday and is threatening to move Tesla out of California. Only businesses deemed essential, including grocery stores, hardware stores and health care facilities, have been allowed to open.

Alameda County officials say they will work with Musk to ensure the factory safely reopens:

“We continue to move closer to an agreed upon safety plan for reopening beyond Minimum Basic Operations by working through steps that Tesla has agreed to adopt,” the Alameda County Public Health Department said in a released statement. “These steps include improving employee health screening procedures and engaging front-line staff on their concerns and feedback regarding safety protocols.”

President Trump tweeted his support of Musk, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke out in favor of Tesla reopening as soon as possible.