Today, Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent a mass email to all of the company’s employees explaining what would be happening during the hysteria that’s being created by the Coronavirus. Specifically, he wanted to talk about the effects of it in and around the Bay area where thousands of Tesla employees work. Six areas within the area have issued a “shelter-in-place” order to try to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Reports picked up by Electrek states that Tesla is asking employees to come into work unless they are feeling ill, in which case they should stay at home and self-isolate. We’re not sure how this was possible alongside the shelter-in-place order.
Elon was more specific in the email he’s sent out since then.
He opens by stating that employees aren’t obligated to come to work:
“First, I’d like to be super clear that if you feel the slightest bit ill or even uncomfortable, please don’t feel obligated to come to work. I will personally be at work, but that is just me. Totally OK if you want to stay home for any reason. “
He also confronted rumours of Tesla employees being tested positive with the virus:
“A lot of rumors are flying around, but, to the best of our knowledge, no one at Tesla (over 56,000 people) has tested positive for COVID-19. I will inform you immediately if anything changes.”
From here, he addresses his own views regarding the panic around the virus:
“My frank opinion remains that the harm from the coronavirus panic far exceeds that of the virus itself. If there is a massive redirection of medical resources out of proportion to the danger, it will result in less available care to those with critical medical needs, which does not serve the greater good.
“What the COVID-19 coverage does show is that the danger of colds and flu in general can be high for the elderly, especially if there is prior lung damage. Much is made of public gatherings, but please be cautious of family gatherings, too. What is relatively harmless to a child can be dangerous to grandparents.”
He added his own predictions towards the end:
“My best guess, for what it is worth, based on the latest Center for Disease Control data, is that confirmed COVID-19 (this specific form of the common cold) cases will not exceed 0.1% of the US population. Moreover, I do not think, when we look back on 2020, that the causes of death or serious injury will have changed much from 2017, for example: (CDC statistic).”
He was keen to repeat the fact that Tesla employees weren’t obligated to come to work before signing off. There was, however, no information regarding sick pay or any loss of jobs. Hopefully, the virus won’t affect the job security of employees.