Tesla CEO Elon Musk went on a tirade about government stay-at-home orders during the pandemic, calling them “fascist” and “an outrage” on an earnings call Wednesday.
“To say that they cannot leave their house and they will be arrested if they do, this is fascist,” he said, according to a report on the call by Axios. “This is not democratic — this is not freedom. Forcibly imprisoning people in their homes, against all their constitutional rights …is not why people came to this country.”
Musk, who has been pressing for an economic reopening for the country, also said: “They will cause great harm not just to Tesla, but to many companies. Tesla will weather the storm. Everything people worked for their entire life are being destroyed in real time.”
According to Axios, Tesla posted its third straight quarterly profit, on strong sales of its Model 3 and Y, but business disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic were clouding its outlook for the rest of the year.
Among the company’s concerns is the reopening of its Fremont, California, assembly plant, where Model Y production had recently begun alongside Model 3 manufacturing. It is idled because of a Bay Area stay-at-home order affecting millions.
Tesla’s new Shanghai factory has resumed production, Axios said.