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Elon Musk Wants Us To Believe He Suddenly Cares About Taking COVID-19 Seriously

Elon Musk sits outside, staring blankly into the distance, wearing a shirt reading "occupy mars"

Elon Musk spent the early, arguably scariest months of the COVID-19 pandemic downplaying the virus’ severity, complaining about how it inconvenienced him, and trying as hard as he could to put his workers’ safety at risk.

In March of 2020, he sent a passive-aggressive, guilt-trip of an email to Tesla employees encouraging them to come into work despite Alameda County’s shelter-in-place order. By May of that year, he was threatening to close that factory if he wasn’t allowed to force workers to come in. He also told workers their only options were to come into work in person or take unpaid leave, which would threaten their ability to access unemployment benefits.

Musk repeatedly whined online and in other forums including Tesla earnings calls, calling the virus and the response to it—both the government’s response and the public’s—”dumb,” “fascist,” and a violation of “goddamn freedom.”

Given all that background, it may come as a surprise to hear that Elon Musk now suddenly cares about taking COVID-19 seriously. All it took was two and half years and 6.5 million deaths worldwide.

Just kidding, all it actually took was for Musk to seemingly need an excuse to delay his scheduled deposition in his ongoing Twitter lawsuit.

According to The Hill:

In a newly public letter to the Delaware Court of Chancery, Twitter’s attorneys said Musk was slated to sit down for a two-day, in-person deposition beginning Sept. 28 but later claimed “Covid exposure risk” because the attorney interviewing him had brief contact four days prior with a person who tested positive the following day.

That deposition was related to the lawsuit filed by Twitter after Musk tried to back out of the sale the company that he himself forced via hostile takeover.

Musk reportedly volunteered to give his deposition remotely but Twitter’s attorneys chose instead to reschedule for this week. I’m of the opinion that more things should still be happening remotely seeing as the pandemic is still very much ongoing, and that if a person is worried about exposure at an event they should absolutely have the right to reschedule or participate virtually. I’m also of the opinion that Musk doesn’t actually care about any of this and was just fishing for an excuse. Twitter apparently agrees.

“Twitter’s attorneys cast doubt on Musk’s sincerity in declining to attend last month’s deposition, noting that the infected contact initially tested negative after seeing the attorney and that the attorney had not shown any symptoms and repeatedly tested negative for COVID-19,” writes The Hill.

“Trial begins in under three weeks,” that letter reads. “Mr. Musk is a central witness and Plaintiff is concerned he is seeking to evade fair examination commensurate with his role in the matters in dispute.”

In recent days, Musk has changed course yet again and says he plans to move forward with buying Twitter. However, for now, his trial is also still set to move forward, as neither party has filed a motion to stop it. It’s slated to begin on October 17.

(via The Hill, image: Michael Gonzalez/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.