'This is fascist': Elon Musk delivers off-script rant criticising coronavirus shutdown measures

Telegraph 29 Apr 2020 11:33

Tesla boss Elon Musk slammed the closure of his factory as "fascist", telling analysts on the company's quarterly earnings call that the coronavirus shutdown is "forcibly imprisoning people in their homes".

In an extraordinary rant Mr Musk, the founder of aerospace company SpaceX and chief executive of electric car company Tesla, said the local government orders were "breaking people’s freedoms in ways that are horrible and wrong. Not the reason people came to America. What the f***". 

The entrepreneur has repeatedly questioned responses to the pandemic that involve shutting down businesses and workplaces, including his own factories in the San Francisco Bay Area.

"People are going to be very angry about this, and are very angry. If someone wants to stay in their house they should be able to. But to say they have to stay in their house and they cannot leave. This is fascist. It’s not democratic," he said.

Mr Musk said he was worried for the future of Tesla's suppliers, adding: "Everything people have worked for all their lives is being destroyed in real time. A lot of suppliers are having hard times, especially small ones."

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