Elon Musk Continues His Rant in Earnings Call

Tesla founder unleashes expletive-laced tirade
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2020 12:59 AM CDT
Elon Musk Continues His Rant in Earnings Call
Tesla and SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk listens to a question as he speaks at the SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition in Washington, Monday, March 9, 2020.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Elon Musk wasn't done after his Twitter diatribe against the coronavirus lockdown. After those early Wednesday tweets, the Tesla founder continued his rant during an earnings call the same day. Some quotes, per the Guardian, CNBC, and the Verge:

  • On how this relates to Tesla: "We are a bit worried about not being able to resume production in the Bay Area, and that should be identified as a serious risk," he said, noting that that area's stay-home order, which came before the statewide one, forced Tesla's primary factory to shut down. The order was recently extended through at least the end of May. "The extension of shelter-in-place—or as I would call it, forcibly imprisoning people in their homes, against all constitutional right, and in my opinion infringing on people’s freedoms in ways that are horrible and wrong, and not why people came to America or pulled this country—what the f---? Excuse me. It’s outrage, it’s an outrage." The Guardian notes he "trailed off" after that.

  • His interpretation of the stay-home orders: He called the lockdown "fascist" and incorrectly said that anyone who leaves their home is in danger of being arrested.
  • Specifically: "If somebody wants to stay in the house that’s great," Musk said. "They should be allowed to stay in the house and they should not be compelled to leave. But to say that they cannot leave their house and they will be arrested if they do... this is fascist. This is not democratic. This is not freedom. Give people back their g--d--- freedom." No one is being arrested for leaving their house.
  • The call itself: The Guardian notes the earnings report was actually "relatively good," with Tesla's $5.99 billion in revenue beating the first-quarter revenue estimates of $5.9 billion from analysts. Tesla's profit for the quarter was $16 million.
  • A warning: But Musk warned that the lockdown would cause "great harm" to businesses, noting that while Tesla would "weather the storm," small businesses would not fare so well. "Everything people have worked for all their lives is being destroyed in real time," he said. "I think the people are going to be very angry about this and are very angry."
(More on Musk's earlier Twitter rant here.)

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