Letter: Musk’s antics lose Tesla a potential customer

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As a resident of northern California, I found the outrage staged by Elon Musk against restrictions on local shelters both inappropriate and offensive (“Tesla’s crazy genius defies American lockdown”, Person in the News, May 16).

A recent study by Raj Chetty and his Harvard colleagues for the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that much of the decline in economic activity in the American states was already occurring before the states closed. Likewise, no economic recovery is likely to be particularly strong until the coronavirus is better contained and public anxiety decreases.

In these circumstances, Musk’s decision to launch a juvenile crisis against state and local public health officials – who, according to preliminary studies, were responsible for saving thousands of lives – seems incredibly selfish.

The fact that he may be trying to earn Tesla a place on the S&P 500 by restarting his factory as soon as possible, if that’s true, is just another example of his self-esteem for the worker safety.

As we emerge from this crisis, I intend to support companies that have shown solidarity with the sacrifices of many other companies, large and small, to close for the greater good. This will involve placing Tesla cars firmly on the “don’t buy” list.

Leif Wellington Haase
Kensington, California, United States

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