Elon Musk mom on Tesla’s China-COVID shutdown after ‘fascist’ hoax

When California shut down a Tesla factory during the coronavirus outbreak in spring 2020, Elon Musk complained that state health officials were “fascist” and should “give people back their godly freedom.”

But now that China is doing the same, the Tesla CEO has remained remarkably quiet.

Starting Monday, Tesla’s Shanghai plant will suspend production for four days to comply with a city-wide stay-at-home order from the Chinese government amid a spike in coronavirus cases. Reuters reported.

The order bans all non-essential businesses from operating while authorities conduct mass testing in the city of 26 million. Tesla’s factory is reportedly considered non-essential business and will therefore have to close, reducing the automaker’s global production by about 2,000 cars a day.

Shanghai residents are barred from leaving their homes and public transport is shut down, making the lockdown tighter than virtually any restrictions put in place in the US at any point in the pandemic.

In 2020, California health officials ordered Tesla to close its Fremont factory for about two months due to the coronavirus outbreak, prompting Musk to threaten to open the factory anyway.

Tesla Shanghai
The Tesla plant in Shanghai is closed for four days due to government restrictions, Reuters reported.
Visual China Group via Getty Ima

In an explosive-laden tirade during an April 2020 earnings call, Musk blasted the stay-at-home orders as “forcibly detaining people in their homes.”

“It breaks people’s freedom in a horrible and wrong way and not why they came to America or built this country,” Musk said. “What the hell? Forgiveness. Indignation.”

“If someone wants to stay indoors, that’s great, they should be allowed to stay indoors and not forced to leave the house,” Musk added. “But to say that they cannot leave their house and will be arrested if they do, that is fascist. That’s not democratic. That’s not freedom. Give people back their divine freedom.”

But two years later, when an even stricter lockdown was imposed in Shanghai, the Tesla CEO spent Monday doing it tweet from memes and criticize The Washington Post for their paywall. He also announced on Monday that he had been diagnosed with the coronavirus but was asymptomatic.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

As Tesla expanded in China, Musk showed a far greater willingness to publicly criticize American politicians than Chinese ones.

In June 2021, Musk responded to a Chinese state media Twitter account that had quoted President Xi Jinping on the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party taking power.

“The economic prosperity that China has achieved is truly amazing, especially in infrastructure!” Musk wrote in response. “I encourage people to visit and see for themselves.”

Six months later, Musk called US President Biden “a piece of crap [sock] Puppet In Human Form,” who “treats the American public like idiots” after Biden failed to invite him to a White House meeting with business leaders.

Tesla was also criticized in January for opening a showroom in China’s Xinjiang province — the same region where human rights groups and the Biden government say China is committing genocide against Uyghur Muslims by imprisoning them in detention camps.

An aerial view of Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory at night on October 22, 2021 in Shanghai, China.
An aerial view of Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory at night on October 22, 2021 in Shanghai, China.
VCG via Getty Images

Congressmen from both parties have also raised concerns about whether Musk’s dealings in China could pose a national security threat.

Lawmakers are particularly concerned that China may receive secret technology through Musk’s space company SpaceX, the Wall Street Journal reported last week.

“I’m a fan of Elon Musk and SpaceX, but anyone would be concerned if there were financial entanglements with China,” Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), a top member of the House Intelligence Committee, told the Journal. “Congress doesn’t have a good eye for that.” Elon Musk mom on Tesla’s China-COVID shutdown after ‘fascist’ hoax


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