Tesla CEO Elon Musk is not happy with how California is handling the COVID-19 pandemic. So much so that he threatened moving his headquarters to Texas or Nevada. Musk has recently said that the shelter-in-place orders are “fascist.” The Tesla executive even said that America should immediately reopen its economy.
But Musk’s fellow billionaires do not share his sentiment. Without massive testing, some of the world’s richest people do not believe that it’s time to get America back to work.
The United States remains the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic with over 1.36 million cases . While states like California and New York continue imposing strict lockdown measures, infections continue to rise.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates reminds people that the pandemic is not yet over even as some states loosen shelter-in-place restrictions:
If they open up, they can go back into exponential (coronavirus infection) growth and compete with New York on that basis,
I worry that reopening too quickly will almost guarantee future outbreaks and worse health and economic outcomes.
If every person could be tested regularly, it would make a huge difference in how we fight this virus. Those who test positive could be quarantined and cared for, and everyone who tests negative could re-enter the economy with confidence.
Meanwhile, Shark Tank star Mark Cuban is not a fan of going back to the way things were . Instead of reopening the economy, he suggests focusing on creating consumer demand:
We know that pick up and delivery works for online [shopping]. It works for food. It works for other products. We should extend what has worked for those businesses to all businesses.
These billionaires are finding ways to cope with the pandemic without risking the health of their employees. The same couldn’t be said about Elon Musk.
The Trump administration wants the economy back on its feet even if some Americans are afraid of the virus. Trump said:
A lot of people want to go back [to work]. You see demonstrations all over the country and those are meaningful demonstrations. You also have people who are very scared.
President Trump has clearly expressed his intentions to send Americans back to work while protecting businesses from the economic fallout of COVID-19. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that he would seek the support of Congress to stimulate economic growth post-pandemic.