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Elon Musk’s law and order violations continue

(Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

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Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Representing the height of billionaire negligence, Elon Musk this week ordered his Tesla workers to come back to work, violating his state’s stay at home orders. This is happening while Musk is also publicly calling for an immediate end to the quarantine, going against the recommendation of our nation’s medical experts and officials.  

This isn’t the first time that Musk has violated governmental orders and put the bottom line before safety, and it certainly won’t be the last. Despite his reckless actions, Musk still enjoys a government security clearance, and he continues to get national security launch procurements and government aid on both the state and federal level. Now, with his statements and actions being a clear danger to public safety, our government needs to re-think its relationship with him going forward.   

Musk doesn’t seem the least bit concerned about safety, having already spent the beginning of the outbreak resisting factory shutdowns even as lock-down orders were being implemented and his employees were catching the virus.   

These are not isolated cases. It’s a regular part of his behavior. The truth is that Musk has turned rule-breaking and public-endangerment into a sport to protect his business interests.  

For example, at the height of trade-tensions with China, with our government handling American business exploitation, Musk traveled to the communist state to expand Tesla’s presence and secure tax breaks. This came directly after the President himself asked companies to stay clear of China while national security concerns were being addressed. Musk directly undermined our economy with his efforts to expand Tesla’s production overseas, all so he could build another of his equally unsafe factories.  

His car factories are famous for the number of safety violations they’ve racked up. He’s genuinely put the industry on notice with Tesla’s historic rise in workplace injuries. Whereas Henry Ford perfected the assembly line, Elon Musk pioneered new and innovative ways to receive OSHA violations. But Tesla is only a small part of his unparalleled hazard portfolio.    

His rocket company, SpaceX, has a similarly shady record. Throughout the development of his rockets, Musk’s company has seen countless rocket explosions, and millions of dollars in lost cargo for NASA and other contract holders. While the government investigations found that sources of the explosion could be traced to issues such as inadequate screening and testing and the use of low-grade parts, Musk’s response to his shortcomings has frequently been to deflect the blame on others.

I suppose for someone worth $20 billion, a couple million dollars wasted in an explosion could seem insignificant. Maybe even the injuries to a few floor workers at his factories isn’t of much concern. But this man still receives strong support from our government and continues to play a crucial role in our national security missions. 

Now NASA is going to let him launch astronauts into space in May. While cargo is valuable, its pales in comparison to the unquantifiable value of human life. Yet our government seems poised to allow a man with a track record of failing public safety to launch some of our bravest heroes into space.   

It’s clear that Musk has no regard for the law and order that the Trump administration knows is so crucial for a well-functioning government. Perhaps it’s time for Musk to stop being granted business with Trump’s Washington. Musk isn’t the only man in town building rockets and cars, and for the safety of our country, it’s time to shop the alternatives. 

Mark Anthony

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