Tesla CEO Elon MuskElon Reeve MuskSpaceX sending first all-civilian crew into orbit Elon Musk's SpaceX vs. the environmentalists Biden seeks to build Democratic support among unions MORE is urging states across the country to put an end to lockdowns aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.
In a series of tweets early Wednesday, Musk posted phrases like “FREE AMERICA NOW” and “Give people their freedom back” in response to the lockdowns, which have been in place throughout much of the country amid the pandemic.
As the global COVID-19 outbreak began to take hold in the United States last month, a number of governors issued stay-at-home orders requiring people to avoid unnecessary travel and large gatherings in an effort to mitigate the spread of the disease. Many states also ordered nonessential businesses to close up shop for a time as part of the directives.
Many of those orders are set to expire at the start of May as President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE and other leaders look to boost the economy after several weeks of mass closures in much of the nation.
In one of his tweets on Wednesday, Musk cheered Texas after its governor, Republican Greg Abbott, said this week that his stay-at-home executive order would expire on Thursday.
While Texas is set to begin the first phase of its reopening process on Friday as planned, the governor said businesses will still have to adhere to occupancy limits laid out in the weeks ahead to prevent flare-ups as experts continue working to develop a vaccine for the virus.
“Bravo Texas!” Musk tweeted in response to the move.
Musk agreed in a follow-up tweet that states should “reopen with care & appropriate protection” amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but he also said leaders shouldn’t be putting “everyone under de facto house arrest.”
The comments by Musk come more than a month after he dismissed concerns about the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic, writing in a tweet in early March: “The coronavirus panic is dumb.”
Since then, Tesla has announced pay cuts and furloughs.
In the weeks since, the U.S. has become the country with the most confirmed cases of the virus reported than any other in the world. The latest John Hopkins University data shows more than 58,000 deaths from the virus have been reported in the country as well as more 115,900 recoveries.