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The tech billionaire and head of the electric carmaker downplayed the virus in a company email Monday, writing “the harm from coronavirus panic far exceeds that of the virus itself.”
He did note, however, that while he was not aware of any Tesla employee testing positive for COVID-19, he would encourage anyone feeling ill or uncomfortable to stay home.
“I will personally be at work, but that's just me. Totally OK if you want to stay home for any reason,” Musk wrote in the memo sources read over the phone for Reuters. “If you feel the slightest bit ill or even uncomfortable, please do not feel obligated to come to work.”
Alameda County declared Tesla an essential business allowed to stay open, according to the Los Angeles Times, which cited a county spokesperson familiar with the matter.
Tesla’s stock is up 60 on the year but has dropped nearly 50 percent in the last month.