Musk has been pushing for an easing of lockdowns after Tesla reportedly asked some workers to return to their jobs last week and then abruptly reversed course and canceled the plan, CNBC reported.
During Tesla’s first quarter earnings conference call this week, Musk blasted ongoing stay-at-home orders as “fascist,” saying they were “forcibly imprisoning people in their homes” in violation of their constitutional rights.
He voiced concern about the ongoing closure of Tesla’s factory in Fremont, Calif., calling it a “serious risk” to the company’s bottom line.
Tesla initially tried to keep the factory open amid shelter-in-place orders, but Alameda County officials said it didn’t qualify as an essential business.
Alameda was among several counties, including San Francisco, that recently extended coronavirus stay-at-home orders through May.
Musk previously made pandemic-related headlines when he tweeted March 6 that “the coronavirus panic is dumb.”
“Based on current trends, probably close to zero new cases in US too by end of April,” he tweeted March 19.
At the same time, Musk promised to donate hundreds of much-needed ventilators to hospitals around the country and tweeted he was reopening a Buffalo plant for ventilator production “as soon as humanly possible.”
The Washington Post reached out to several of the hospitals that received shipments from Tesla and found some of the devices were actually BiPAP or CPAP machines.
“Cedars-Sinai has received 40 BiPAP machines from Tesla. We are very grateful to Mr. Musk for this generous gift,” Duke Helfand, a spokesman for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said in a statement to the Washington Post.
“BiPAP machines offer a noninvasive way to help patients breathe by pushing pressurized air into their lungs. This equipment can be useful as part of the overall pool of resources that will help us as we plan for a potential surge of COVID-19 patients in the weeks ahead,” the statement said.