“Give People Their Freedom Back!” – Musk Calls For End To Lockdowns, Cheers Texas’ Decision To Reopen

With Georgia, Tennessee and now Texas – the biggest and most economically vital state so far – starting to lift coronavirus restrictions, initial data suggest that the American consumer is throwing caution to the wind and venturing back out to retail ‘hotspots’ and other locations.

Whether we’ll see the same in Europe isn’t yet clear, but last night, France, Spain and Portugal released plans for reopening their economies, joining Italian PM Giuseppe Conte, who shared some broad strokes from Italy’s plan on Sunday night. On Wednesday, Poland joined the growing number of European states – including the Czech Republic, Germany (sort of), Denmark, Austria and others.

As the leaders of Europe’s largest economies have warned, the reopenings will happen gradually, and any signs of the virus’s reemergence will be met with an immediate rollback. The sum total of all the caveats and complications shared by Italy’s Conte and French PM Édouard Philippe, who laid out France’s plan in detail during a marathon address last night, is that the “European era of national confinement will not end for months,” as WSJ reports.

Ongoing evaluations of the epidemic, officials say, will determine whether stricter rules need to be reimposed.

Overall, the rules mean an era of European confinement will not end once national lockdowns begin to officially lift in May. Instead, governments are digging in for months to come, crafting changes that are likely to place longer-term strains on social and democratic norms.

Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez has been, in many ways, even more cautious than his colleagues. Spain’s lockdown won’t truly begin until May 12, meaning many Spaniards still have at least 2 weeks of WFH to go.

On Wednesday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Poland will reopen hotels and shopping malls on May 4 while it will consider reopening pre-schools on May 6. Poland started relaxing some restrictions in April, claiming they were too costly for the economy. It has also reopened parks and eased rules on the number of customers allowed in shops. As of Wednesday, the EU member with a population of nearly 40 million had only 12,415 cases and 606 deaths (Spain’s population is only ~8 million larger than Poland’s), according to the New York Times.

As President Trump reportedly urged governors to at least consider reopening some schools before the end of the year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who recently told employees at Tesla’s Fremont factory to report back to work before California’s ‘stay at home’ order expires.

“Give people their freedom back!” Musk tweeted while citing a WSJ analysis suggesting that the lockdowns haven’t saved that many lives.

The CDC recently revised the government’s ‘official’ projections to reflect a slightly larger number of anticipated deaths around the country after Georgia and Texas kicked off the reopening.

California must be giving Elon Musk trouble about reopening Tesla’s Fremont plant, because Musk in a series of tweets demanded the US and all states end the lockdowns now, becoming the first CEO of a major American company (“major” based solely on Tesla’s market cap) to criticize them in such strident terms.

Now, will Musk be joining his former partner Peter Thiel in LA after committing the heresy of disagreeing with the Silicon Valley groupthink? We certainly have cause to wonder…

Meanwhile, on the opposite end of the spectrum, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted a menacing message to NYC’s ultra-orthodox Jewish Community, warning that he has instructed the NYPD to start issuing summonses and making arrests when people are found in large groups not obeying social distancing requirements.

de Blasio tweeted that the funeral in Williamsburg was “unacceptable.”

For the US, it’s probably too early to read too much into leading indicators, though they’re certainly something to consider. On Wednesday, economists straining their eyes for ‘green shoots’ in Europe were probably disappointed to learn that European business and consumer confidence plummeted in April by a record margin, falling to its lowest level since the financial crisis more than a decade ago.

Data released by the European Commission revealed a popular economic indicator had fallen by 28.8 points to 65.8 for the EU-wide reading on consumer confidence. And that drop would have probably been even larger if data from Italy hadn’t been excluded (the survey reportedly couldn’t even be carried out in Italy).

As the FT pointed out, sentiment on the continent has never deteriorated this quickly before.

Among the biggest eurozone economies, the Netherlands saw the biggest drop with 32.6 points, while Spain saw a 26-point drop and Germany was down 19.9 points, while France declined 16.3 points.

And that’s not all: Industrial activity in the UK is running at ~50% activity. UK industrial production is running just above half of its capacity while sentiment in the services sector has dropped to an all-time low in April as businesses shut down in an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus.

As we reminded readers last night, there’s no guarantee that a COVID-19 vaccine will be ready for mass distribution within the 2 year timeline provided by public health officials. Despite the musings of some British scientists at Oxford claiming they might have a vaccine ready by the fall (initially, it would be distributed only to front-line health-care workers), questions remain about whether long-term immunity to COVID-19 is even possible.

In light of this, the UK has set up a new clinical trial initiative to fast-track research on six potential treatments. Poland cautiously sets dates in May for shopping centres, museums, hotels and schools to re-open. Beijing loosens border controls for most domestic travellers. James Shotter in Warsaw and Yuan Yang in Beijing report.

In what was perhaps the biggest news story overnight, Beijing has ended its mandatory quarantine period of 14 days for anybody – Chinese and foreigners – traveling into the city from low-risk areas. That means most Chinese (except residents of Wuhan) will soon be allowed to travel to the capital.

Beijing’s municipal deputy secretary Chen Bei announced the news in China’s state press on Wednesday, the same day the CPC announced it would hold its annual “Two Sessions” parliamentary meetings starting May 21. Of course, Beijing has plenty of other measures in place to try and prevent a resurgence. Most notably: China’s “Health Kit” app, which every citizen must have installed on his/her phone before entering a public space.

Earlier this week, several of China’s largest cities, including Beijing, allowed some older students to return to school.

Elsewhere, as the number of new cases balloons in Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned that holding the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 will be “impossible” if the pandemic hasn’t been contained by next summer, the latest sign of exasperation as Japan discovers its outbreak is much larger than it had expected.

Before we go, we’d like to end with a dollop of good news: UK PM Boris Johnson and his fiance Carrie Symonds have given birth to a healthy baby boy in a London hospital, according to the BBC.

via zerohedge

10 comments

  1. Finally, someone who is talking sense. Give us guidelines, not orders, and let us decide for ourselves what to do.

    1. Great video 👍, I’ve been saying that Fauci NEEDS to be gone. His connections to WHO, CDC, Clinton Foundation, Gates, and China are alarming!!!!

  2. BRAVO to Elon Musk but NOT to Dr. Fauci who is reveling in his new found power. Dr. Fauci is for keeping America locked down thereby destroying our country which is their goal. Including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which are hypocrites. They’re funding development of a vaccine while at the same time bad mouthing hydroxychloroquine which would spoil Gates’ chance to make a few MORE $$$BILLION as he licenses it to BIG pharma. Do NOT trust him and do NOT trust Dr. Fauci and his entourage. Nor China which created this virus as a weapon.

    Don’t believe it? Then why did China allow Wuhan residents to travel all over the world but were NOT allowed to fly to destinations within China? Why did they tell the world this virus was NOT transmissible human to human? Why did China block access to WHO and CDC access to Wuhan to trace the origins of this killer. Our intelligence agencies now believe this was created in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Which shares their facility with the BioWeapons labs of the PLA – People’s Liberation Army. This virus was weaponized and spread all over the world but principally in Western Europe and America to destroy our economies and defeat the reelection of President Trump. They had help from our leftists here in America.

    1. I do not believe the leftists are to blame for the coronavirus spread. I do believe the five million Chinese who fled from Wuhan and traveled all over the world did so with the purpose of spreading the virus. This incident, I believe, is an attempt at germ warfare. Instead of blaming the leftists, let us all see China for the enemy it is and do what we can to survive this attack of virus. It would not do much good to re-open businesses right now because that would further the spread of the virus. People and businesses will have to adapt to working from home to keep people safe from exposure to the disease.

  3. The demons want to keep the populous shut-in and shut-down only to ruin Trump’s popularity.
    I applaud Musk for speaking up. Wish he had earlier. I saw him on TV last night, and agree completely. I always thought he was a screaming liberal before last night. He’s definitely a capitalist.
    We are finding out more and more every day that the ‘advice’ Fauci and the NIHA gave Trump is bogus. The deep state operatives are still working feverishly behind the scenes in the White House and elsewhere in Trump’s administration. If he had only “cleaned house” when he first arrived, like Obama did, we might not have been in this ‘COVID-19’ nightmare. The whole thing is nothing but a chicken-little-sky-is-falling panic attack for the dummycrats, designed and proliferated by the demonrats.
    Money is in control. The demons are losing money on Trump, and want their powerbase back.
    Everything they have prognosticated has been extremely exaggerated by a factor of 200. So far, NOTHING is even a quarter as bad as they claimed it would be. We have people dying more from the common flu and seasonal pneumonia. The whole world has been exposed.
    If you aren’t dead yet, you are immune. If you got sick and recovered, you’re loaded with antibodies. The risk of dying is with those who have pre-existing conditions and co-morbidity factors typically found in older folks, fat folks, and type-2 diabetics. And now we are finding out some states have greatly exaggerated their ‘death count’. (To make themselves look even more pathetic as leaders – no, they just want more federal dollars.)
    We have SO MANY OTHER things killing us EVERY YEAR. Some 3-4 times what this ‘pandemic’ has or will do, but no one shuts the country down over the other killers among us. The media never blasts their vitriol about our leaders not controlling those death factors among us. Those death factors are so commonplace, we all overlook them. Life goes on.
    The ONLY reason the Wuhan virus was prostletized as the worst contagion ever was to add to the Trump takedown. The demons knew they would get support from the dummycrats, who never worry about paying their own bills. The demons know the dummycrats will forgive them if they sling out a few freebies like beads at Marty gras.
    Why don’t we lock up all the fat and type-2 diabetic people, to protect them from their lack of discipline? Why do we allow teenagers to drive when they kill so many people on the road? We do we let alcohol be legal when it does so much harm, and kills so many?
    Sweden is now being heralded by the demon-run W.H.O. as a “good model to watch”. The W.H.O. and their minions vilified Sweden just a few weeks ago.
    The United States has only about 0.03% death rate from this new strain of coronavirus. The seasonal flu kills 0.08% on average.
    The dummycrats who “do not believe the leftists are to blame for the coronavirus spread”, or think it’s still better to “stay indoors” for protections, or learn to “work from home” even though only about 30% of work CAN be done from home (by pencil pushers and bean-counters); are simply fooling themselves in order to hang on to the notion the left is good, and fair, and diverse, and tolerant.
    The left may be diverse, but they are definitely NOT tolerant, good or fair.
    The left wants to rule like kings as much a China wants to rule like demigods. The left is in league with China, and have been for decades. The left is as trustworthy as China is when it comes to germ warfare.
    Anyone who believes our own CIA or FBI have NOT been involved with Trump’s takedown, or isn’t capable of creating a panic over a non-issue like “COVID-19” is more than ignorantly stupid. They are a danger to themselves and society.
    How many “COVID-19 victims” are elderly? Who in this country is MORE LIKELY to vote conservative?
    Isn’t it just a little odd that China has learned to speed up the contagion, but can’t manipulate the virus?
    Sure, it’s not man-made . . .
    Look at all the demons who marched off to China in the past few decades for their business workforce and low wages, closing factories and industry here.
    Look at all the politicians who marched off to China – from Jimmy Carter’s years through Obama’s years – to create their own deals?
    Look at all the people who sell out to China and other COMMUNIST regimes today. How many of them are currently serving in elected positions? They are ‘outed’ daily on conservative news, but none of the demon media is remotely curious who our elected criminals are.
    The demonrats want the virus to stay around as long as possible. IF everyone goes outside and enjoys the sunshine, the virus will die off like SARS did. They would lose control. Look at what the demonrat Governors are doing. They had their 30 days, but each one is desperate to cling to their ill-found power, drunk on the draconian high it gave them. They are ignoring the Constitution.
    The sheeple will be the first to get killed off when the demigods take over. Conservatives who believe in independence will last longer.
    The sheeple are unwilling to defend themselves, and feverishly need to believe everything will be OK as long as they remain passive.
    The trouble is; the conservatives end up paying double, or working double-duty to cover the passive asses in the country.

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