We don’t know how many of the 10,000 workers at two Fremont Tesla facilities tested positive for coronavirus, but media reports describe the number as “several.”
Give coronavirus truther Elon Musk credit for one thing: He has not deleted the many tweets wherein he made fantastically wrong, totally out-to-lunch predictions and assessments on the potential dangers posed by COVID-19. We’ll make a point of embedding all of Musks’ greatest misses as we present the findings of a Washington Post report, also reprinted on SFGate, that workers at the Fremont Tesla plant are testing positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This of course includes the same Fremont Tesla plant at which Musk publicly flouted Alameda County orders and reopened the place anyway, despite Public Health Department pushback over safety concerns — but the reporting suggests that at least two of the cases were found at Tesla's seat assembly facility, which is at 901 Page Avenue near the main plant in Fremont.
Based on current trends, probably close to zero new cases in US too by end of April— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 19, 2020
That Washington Post/SFGate report does not say how many of the plants 10,000 workers have tested positive, but ABC 7 describes the number as “several.”
how are your scientists doing on their quest to make you a real boy— AntifaProvocateurHat (@Popehat) March 6, 2020
No one is commenting on the record over at Tesla. The Post did not get a response from Tesla vice president of environment, health and safety Laurie Shelby. They did reach Tesla corporate physician James Craner, who would not comment.
Alameda County Public Health information manager Neetu Balram also essentially shrugged off comment, saying, "If a person tested positive and they were not a resident of Alameda County, it's possible we would not have that case reported to us."
That said, danger of panic still far exceeds danger of corona imo. If we over-allocate medical resources to corona, it will come at expense of treating other illnesses. Track graph at bottom of this page: https://t.co/7nWKjiZyFn— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 17, 2020
But Tesla employees are talking to the press, anonymously at least. Two of them told the Post that “supervisors held meetings with their teams to disclose the company had reported several cases of the coronavirus.” In a text message exchange, one anonymous employee said the plant’s current social distancing measures were “like nothing but with a mask on,” and that management has told them “don't say anything to the associates [because] they're not doing [social distancing] either."
Just last week, as the Chronicle reported, another Tesla employee, Carlos Gabriel, spoke during a protest saying that Musk had "dumbed down this pandemic from the get-go," and said the coronavirus is "not that fatal." Musk had spent part of April and May tweeting similar things, and pushing back against extended lockdown orders before ultimately going toe to toe with Alameda County officials.
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.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 11, 2020
When Musk tweeted the above message during the plant’s shutdown showdown with Alameda County (and mind you, this is about two weeks after he shouted “Give people back their goddamn freedom!” on an investor earnings call), he made the attention-seeking hero move of saying, “If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.” Notice that he did not say “If anyone is infected, I ask that it only be me.” This is the grisly game that captains of industry are playing, as workplace coronavirus risks are taking a backseat to production goals. And production goals are surely where Elon Musk’s head is at right now, as a freshly leaked email from Musk obtained by Electrek says, “It is extremely important for us to ramp up Model Y production and minimize rectification needs,” and “Thank you for bearing with tough conditions. Will get better fast.”
It should be noted, Musk is awarded stock options based on production milestones.
Image: Steve Jurveston via Wikimedia Commons