2020 was supposed to be Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) year. The company opened its new Gigafactory in Shanghai at a breakneck pace and announced it expected to be profitable moving forward .
But the novel coronavirus had other plans. The disease killed production, shut down showrooms, and placed workers on furlough.
The dream is turning into a nightmare, and Tesla chief executive Elon Musk seems to be getting desperate.
Many consider Musk to be a tech genius but it appears he may be ignorant of how viruses work. In a shocking tweet, Musk says he wants the lockdown to end now.
Musk is a global figure with over 33 million Twitter followers, but he is no epidemiologist. Last month, the Tesla executive drew flak after tweeting that panic over the coronavirus is “dumb.”
Since that tweet, the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. exploded by nearly 325,000%.
Why would Musk want the land of the free to be free?
There’s a lot of evidence indicating that Musk wants Tesla to resume operations as the lockdown is affecting the company’s value.
Earlier this week, the electric car maker asked some of its Fremont factory workers to restart production this week despite shelter-in-place orders.
Authorities do not share Tesla’s exuberance to send people back to work. In fact, the lockdown will remain in full effect in six Bay Area counties until the end of May .
Tesla’s plan to resume operations in its Fremont facility on May 4 has been thwarted. The lockdown extension might have driven Musk to send a message to the authorities.
If government officials succumb to Elon Musk’s plea, millions of Americans would be at risk of getting infected.
Researchers at MIT used a statistical model to quantify the impact of the isolation and quarantine measures in Wuhan, Italy, South Korea, and the United States. In a draft paper, the researchers conclude :
relaxing or reversing quarantine measures right now will lead to an exponential explosion in the infected case count, thus nullifying the role played by all measures implemented in the US since mid March 2020.
When it comes to testing capacity, the U.S. is not yet ready to gradually reopen the economy. A Harvard analysis reveals that the country must test 500,000 people per day for effective contact tracing to curb the spread of the virus . So far, the United States conducts only 200,000 tests per day .
Yanis Ben Amor, an executive at the Center for Sustainable Development in the Earth Institute, says that opening the economy now will spell disaster .
We aren’t diagnosing enough people and if we don’t have a testing system in place it will flare up again badly.
Musk might be a tech magnate, but it is becoming evident that he knows very little about how viruses work. Either that or he’s willing to put the lives of Americans at risk in the name of profit.