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Elon Musk says it’s time to ‘free America now’ from lockdowns

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, speaks during a South by Southwest 2018 session in Austin. (Suzanne Cordeiro/For the Austin American-Statesman/TNS)

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk is no stranger when it comes to getting on Twitter to express his feelings about a subject he cares about. And the latest subject to get the Musk Twitter treatment is the ongoing coronavirus-related societal lockdowns across California and the country.

“FREE AMERICA NOW” tweeted Musk late Tuesday in what was the most-recent of a series of tweets he sent out this week to show his thoughts on the stay-at-home orders that have been put in place as part of the ongoing effort to slow the spread of coronavirus. Earlier this week, the counties around the San Francisco Bay Area extended shelter-in-place rules that were scheduled to end on May 3 until the end of May.

Those orders have closed many non-essential businesses, including Tesla’s vehicle manufacturing plant in Fremont, since March. Tesla had been planning on bringing employees in some production areas back to work on Wednesday, but then reversed course and canceled that plan.

Musk sounded even more emphatic when he tweeted out a link to a Wall Street Journal opinion article authored by former Cypress Semiconductor CEO T.J. Rodgers that questioned whether lockdowns related to coronavirus actually end up saving people’s lives.

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“Give people their freedom back!” tweeted Musk, along with a link to Rodgers’ Journal article that included a photo of an Iowa movie theater closed due to coronavirus.

Musk also took at shot at his home turf of Silicon Valley, with a new potential name for the famously liberal region of tech innovation.

“Silicon Valley has become Sanctimonious Valley,” tweeted Musk, who then said the area was “Too much the moral arbiter of the world.”

This isn’t the first time Musk has gone on a tweetstorm about coronavirus. Back in March, Musk tweeted that the coronavirus panic was “dumb” and that he thought there would be almost no new coronavirus cases in the United States by the end of April. As of Wednesday, the U.S. has more than 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 58,000 deaths from the disease.

Tesla didn’t respond to a request for comment about Musk’s latest coronovirus-related tweets. The company is scheduled to report its first-quarter results after the close of stock market trading on Wednesday.

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© 2020 The Mercury News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.