Silicon Valley giants Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg offered dueling views on lockdown measures designed to contain the spread of the coronavirus Wednesday, with Facebook’s Zuckerberg applauding the measures while Tesla’s Musk condemned them as anti-democratic.
Musk, who has often made outspoken and even inflammatory comments on conference calls and on Twitter, said in the feedback to analysts on Tesla’s earnings call that it was “fascist” to say people cannot leave their homes.
Zuckerberg, however, in comments on Facebook’s earnings calls, expressed concerns about relaxing lockdown measures and stated the economic downturn from the pandemic would last longer than people are at the moment anticipating.
Both corporations are situated in the San Francisco Bay area, which was out front in attempting to contain the virus’ spread, with the region’s seven counties issuing a joint shelter-in-place order before California issued a statewide order.
Electric car manufacturer Tesla and social media network Facebook have had different experiences under the lockdown. Tesla had initially resisted attempts by California authorities to shut its factory in the Bay Area underneath the lockdown, until agreeing on March 19 to suspend manufacturing. Even so, Tesla Wednesday reported its third profitable quarter in a row.