California county orders health compliance after Tesla defies ban, reopens

Washington DC, May 12 (efe-epa).- California’s Alameda County has ordered Tesla to comply with public health orders at its Fremont factory after the company’s founder Elon Musk defied rules and resumed vehicle production.

County health officials on Monday ordered in a letter that the factory must not operate beyond minimum basic operations.

“Today, May 11, we learned that the Tesla factory in Fremont had opened beyond Minimum Basic Operations. We have notified Tesla that they can only maintain Minimum Basic Operations until we have an approved plan that can be implemented in accordance with the local public health Order,” the Alameda authorities said in a statement.

Musk, who has called the confinement orders issued by US authorities to slow the spread of COVID-19 fascist, had ordered the factory to reopen and stated on Twitter that he was prepared to be arrested for violating the ban.

“Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules. I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me,” the 48-year-old billionaire tweeted Monday.

United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday sided with Musk and wrote on Twitter that “California should let Tesla & @elonmusk open the plant, NOW. It can be done Fast & Safely!”

Musk responded to Trump with a “thank you!”

Also on Twitter, Musk reported that Monday went “great” at the Fremont factory, where some 10,000 people work and which was closed on Mar. 23.

Local media said Musk sent an email to his employees to thank them for resuming production at the factory.

In the past days, Musk has elevated his protest against Alameda County authorities.

In addition to the tweet about restarting production and potential arrest, on Saturday, he threatened to remove Tesla’s headquarters from California due to restrictions implemented to curb the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

“Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependen(t) on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA,” he wrote. EFE-EPA


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