A California politician is not taking well to Elon Musk’s threat to pull his Tesla company out of the state.
After the billionaire tech mogul said this week that he was considering pulling out of California due to the state’s ongoing coronavirus restrictions, state representative Lorena Gonzales responded with a succinct tweet attacking him.
“F*ck Elon Musk,” she tweeted.
The tweet attracted some viral interest, with the New York Post noting that many criticized the state assemblywoman for what they saw as an unnecessary attack, while others said it is the state’s fault that Musk wants to pull Tesla out.
“Yeah. Screw the guy who has actually created a company and jobs and accomplished something,” one person replied. “To hell with anyone who has actually made the world a better place.”
The tweet also highlighted the growing tension between Musk and state officials over the continued restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus. California was one of the earlier states to issue stay-at-home orders, and many local governments have kept those restrictions in place even as the state began planning for a phased-in reopening.
That is the case in Alameda County, where local officials reportedly rejected a plan put forward by Tesla to begin opening limited operations at its factory there. Musk had taken to Twitter this week to announce plans to sue country health officials for the decision.
“Tesla is filing a lawsuit against Alameda County immediately. The unelected & ignorant ‘Interim Health Officer’ of Alameda is acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms & just plain common sense,” Musk tweeted.
It was not clear when the company’s plant would begin to reopen, but Musk made it clear that he would like to do so immediately. Musk later tweeted that he was considering moving the company’s headquarters and programs to Texas and Nevada, saying the future of the company in California would depend on how it was treated there.
This came after California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a plan that would allow factories in the state to start reopening, though local officials had the authority to impose their own limitations depending on conditions in their county.
The Tesla founder has been criticized for some early inaccurate statements about the coronavirus outbreak, saying fears were overblown. He has since become a vocal advocate for reopening the American economy, taking to Twitter to praise states that had started to allow businesses to reopen and making calls to “FREE AMERICA NOW.”