Like our president, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk just CAN’T. STOP. TWEETING.
Musk’s latest comments, delivered in a tweetstorm Friday morning, are still fixated on the country’s shelter-in-place measures and how anti-American they are. It’s a continuation of his IRL rant during Tesla’s earnings call this week.
Musk is known for his Twitter meltdowns, but since the coronavirus outbreak, he’s been on a months-long tear. His latest nonsense is directed at restrictions meant to curb the spread of the infectious respiratory disease. This is mostly because his Tesla car factory in the San Francisco Bay Area is not allowed to reopen until at least June.
We get it, he’s frustrated about what was supposed to be a banner year for Tesla with its ahead-of-schedule Model Y SUV starting to roll out. But that doesn’t mean he can spread misinformation about a new disease.
Now give people back their FREEDOM
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 1, 2020
Even his tweets about social distancing in America (which he likened to being “forcibly imprisoned”) are inaccurate: States are imposing some restrictions, but you can you still leave your house, exercise outside, go for a drive, or simply sit on a bench or on your stoop. Yes, you need to wear a mask, but we’re in the midst of a pandemic. In some places — even in California — restrictions are starting to ease up as May begins.
His wildly off-base predictions are harmful and often based either on inconsistent data or from debunked studies and research. Back in March when the outbreak first hit the U.S., Musk called it “dumb.” Then he predicted a slowdown of cases by the end of April.
We checked and on the day he tweeted that prediction, there were 4,777 new coronavirus cases in the U.S. The CDC data for April 30 showed more than 30,000 new cases. Just because Musk thinks this outbreak will happen a certain way, doesn’t mean it is so.
Striking a balance between what’s best for public and economic health is a delicate affair, but Musk is dangerously posting information that lines up with his financial motivations. His tweets are, once again, negatively affecting his publicly-traded electric car company’s stock price in real-time.