May 11, 2020 - Economy

Elon Musk reopens Tesla factory in California, defying virus restrictions

Elon Musk

Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk on Monday afternoon tweeted that he will reopen the company's Fremont, California, manufacturing facility, over the objections of local officials.

Why it matters: This is the highest-profile battle so far between a private company and public health officials.

The big picture: Tesla on Saturday sued to overrule Alameda County rules, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin suggested that California should prioritize Tesla's ability to reopen. But Musk, who has repeatedly criticized lockdown orders as too draconian, apparently has decided to take matters into his own hands.

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a briefing earlier Monday that the easing of restrictions could possibly allow the plant to reopen as soon as next week. He said he did not know that Musk had already reopened the plant.

Go deeper ... Podcast: Elon Musk vs. California

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