Throughout the coronavirus pandemic in the US, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has been outspoken about his thoughts on everything from ventilator shortages to possible treatments to the severity of the virus overall.
Now, Musk has gone a step further, calling US shelter-in-place orders “fascist” during a brief, expletive-laden rant during a conference call following Tesla’s first-quarter earnings report on Wednesday, Business Insider reported.
Musk has a history of speaking out during times of crisis. In 2018, for example, Musk offered to build a “kid-size” submarine to rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach stuck in a flooded cave in Thailand. When a British diver called Musk’s actions a “PR stunt,” Musk called the diver a “pedo guy” in a since-deleted tweet. (The comment sparked a defamation lawsuit, but Musk has since been cleared).
He’s also frequently shared his thoughts on everything from Tesla short-sellers to the media, and has landed in hot water over erratic tweets like his “funding secured” fiasco in 2018.
According to Business Insider, at the time, coronavirus cases had been recorded in 93 countries, more than 100,000 people had been infected, and more than 3,400 people had died from the virus. In the US, 240 cases had been reported and 14 people had died, including one in California, where Musk lives.