On Wednesday, Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, joined those who are protesting against the coronavirus lockdown of the American economy.
His response came at a time when he was close to securing a $750m (£585m) payout from a bonus scheme linked to Tesla’s share price. On Wednesday, he tweeted a Wall Street Journal article suggesting that the lockdowns have not saved that many lives but have shattered local economies with the comment “Give people their freedom back!”.
Musk later clarified that he did not think all shops and businesses should be reopened immediately. In a reply to another user on Twitter, Musk said “Yes, reopen with care & appropriate protection, but don’t everyone under de facto house arrest”.
Tesla had been planning on reopening the Fremont, California factory on 4 May, when the lockdown order was supposed to be lifted. The factory has been shut since 23 March.