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Tesla CEO Elon Musk publicly threatened to sue California's Alameda County on Saturday and to move the electric car maker's headquarters elsewhere after health officials said the company’s factory couldn’t reopen yet due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Erica Pan, the county health officer, said on Friday that Tesla was working with the county, but the company had not yet been cleared to reopen the Fremont facility, even after California Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Thursday that manufacturers would be allowed to resume operations, Reuters reported.
“Frankly, this is the final straw,” Musk wrote on Twitter on Saturday. “Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependent on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in [California]."
Tesla has already restarted its China factory after the pandemic forced it to temporarily close. Musk pointed to that as an example of how the company could reopen responsibly elsewhere.
“Tesla knows far more about what needs to be done to be safe through our Tesla China factory experience than an (unelected) interim junior official in Alameda County,” he tweeted.
Musk has been a big proponent of resuming normal business operations, writing that the “coronavirus panic is dumb” in March and demanding in a tweet last month, “FREE AMERICA NOW.”