Elon Musk announced he was going to reopen the Tesla assembly plant in Fremont, California, despite the county’s lockdown policies, daring the local sheriffs to arrest him for doing so. Now, he has a powerful supporter cheering on his efforts after President Donald Trump backed Musk’s message.
“California should let Tesla & @elonmusk open the plant, NOW. It can be done Fast & Safely!” Trump tweeted.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also backed the Tesla CEO, according to CNBC.
“I agree with Elon Musk. He’s one of the biggest employers and manufacturers in California, and California should prioritize doing whatever they need to do to solve those health issues so that he can open quickly and safely,” he said.
While certain California businesses statewide have been given the go-ahead to begin reopening, Governor Gavin Newsom has left the ultimate decision up to the local cities and counties to decide whether or not to allow businesses to reopen.
Alameda County determined that the Tesla factory is a nonessential business and should remain shuttered to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Since late April, Musk has been railing about the closure orders. Last week, in a now-deleted tweet, Musk threatened to move the plant to another state if the county wouldn’t allow him to get back to business.
“Frankly, this is the final straw,” Musk tweeted. “Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately.”
On Monday, Musk announced he would be opening the plant and told authorities that if they came to apprehend people at the factory, that he be the one arrested, as The Inquisitr previously reported.
As local station KCRA reports, on Monday, the parking lot was nearly full as employees returned to work.
While no law enforcement appeared at the factory on Monday, the county’s public health department warned Tesla that it was violating local law and asked that it submit a site-specific plan for opening that details how it will protect the workers inside the plant, which employs 10,000 individuals.
“We look forward to reviewing Tesla’s plan and coming to [an] agreement on protocol and a timeline to reopen safely,” the warning read.
Trump has been vocal in supporting those wanting to reopen the economy. In mid-April, he tweeted support of protestors in states like Michigan and Minnesota who appeared at state capitols to call for the stay-at-home orders to be lifted.
While the president has conceded that the ultimate decision is up to local state leaders, he has repeatedly pushed to see states reopen to bolster their economies amidst a historic level of unemployment.