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

Go deeper

Aug 14, 2020 - Health

California passes 600,000 confirmed coronavirus cases

A healthcare worker in Los Angeles handling a coronavirus test on. Aug 11. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California reported almost 8,000 new coronavirus cases on Friday, bringing the state's tally to more than 600,000 since the pandemic began, according to the state's Department of Public Health.

Why it matters: California is the first state to surpass the 600,000-case milestone. It also reported 188 deaths associated with the virus on Friday, bumping its total to almost 11,000 — the third-highest death toll in the U.S. behind New York and New Jersey, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The cliffhanger could be ... Georgia

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1992, but Georgia's changing demographics may prove pivotal this year — not only to Trump v. Biden, but also to whether Democrats take control of the Senate.

Why it matters: If the fate of the Senate did hinge on Georgia, it might be January before we know the outcome. Meanwhile, voters' understanding of this power in the final days of the election could juice turnout enough to impact presidential results.

Amy Harder, author of Generate
6 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Climate change goes mainstream in presidential debate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

The most notable part of Thursday’s presidential debate on climate change was the fact it was included as a topic and assumed as a fact.

The big picture: This is the first time in U.S. presidential history that climate change was a featured issue at a debate. It signals how the problem has become part of the fabric of our society. More extreme weather, like the wildfires ravaging Colorado, is pushing the topic to the front-burner.