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Elon Musk goes on privileged Trump-esque anti-lockdown Twitter spree

Elon Musk goes on privileged Trump-esque anti-lockdown Twitter spree
[Photo: Flickr user Daniel Oberhaus]

Elon Musk has kicked off the morning by engaging in a very Trump-esque rant against the lockdown that is currently saving countless lives.

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Musk began his rant by demanding “Give people their freedom back!” in a tweet along with a link to a Wall Street Journal op-ed by a fellow CEO of a tech company (T. J. Rodgers of Cypress Semiconductor) that argues that in most places lockdowns don’t save lives.

In the following tweet, Musk said “Bravo Texas!” when sharing a link to a Texas Tribune article about businesses in the state reopening this Friday.

Finally, Musk pulled out the big guns and went all caps, shouting “FREE AMERICA NOW” into the Twitter void. When a follower replied that the scariest thing about the pandemic was not the virus but “seeing American [sic] so easily bow down & give up their blood bought freedom,” Musk replied “True.”

Of course, it’s easy for Musk and other billionaire titans of industry to scream their heads off demanding lockdowns end and Americans get back to work. But that’s because those billionaires aren’t going to be working day in and day out in retail shops, and on factory floors, and waiting tables with the workers who generate the wealth for their businesses.

The billionaires like Musk will keep a safe distance from any work area where it’s likely the disease will spread if Americans go back to their crowded workspaces before its truly safe for them to do so.

Sure, you might get the odd billionaire owner posing for a photo-op showing himself on the factory floor with his employees, but you think he’s going to stick around with them day after day if the virus is still out there? Hell no.

When Musk rants about opening America up again and ending lockdowns, he’s doing so from a place of privilege most American workers will never have. Musk can control his empires and remain safely isolated anywhere in the world if he so chooses. But the people doing the hard work for his companies don’t have that luxury.

That’s not to say there’s any doubt that most of them share Musk’s desire to get the economy going again and get people back to work. But if that happens before it’s safe to do so, it’s those workers and their families who will face the most terrible consequences—not the billionaires who employ them.

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