California officials: Tesla keeps car factories open ‘to pose public health risks’

Tesla announced on March 19 thing out of its electric car plant in California after repeated discussions with local officials in The California that it would comply with a county-wide order for the new corona virus, themedia outlet The Verge reported. But according to a new email obtained by Protocol. The Silicon Valley automaker is still trying to keep the plant open after the announcement. The county’s health officials called the decision to keep the plant open was a “public health risk.”

California officials: Tesla keeps car factories open 'to pose public health risks'

The emails were sent to Dan Chia, A senior policy adviser at Tesla, from the local police chief. Each letter includes a letter to record calls and video conferences between Tesla and local city and county officials. They help clarify the discussion between the company and the authorities about whether the plant is a “basic business”, which would keep it open under county (and ultimately statewide) “in-place asylum” orders. The “in-place asylum” order is designed to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

Tesla has been arguing with local officials and their employees, according to public guidelines from the U.S. Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which the company believes should be considered a “national critical infrastructure.” CISA has issued guidelines outlining what it considers critical infrastructure in 2015, including “vehicle and commercial ship manufacturing.” But in a March 28 memo on the new coronavirus pandemic, the car maker was not specifically listed in the “Key Manufacturing” section of the CISA guidelines. Tesla’s comments come as all other major automakers stop manufacturing in the U.S.

Tesla tried to convince city and county officials in the days before the shutdown was announced that it was considered an “essential company” so that it could continue to produce Model 3, Model S, Model X and Model Y.

Fremont, California ( where the plant is located) Police Chief Kimberly Petersen told Chia on March 18 that the county’s interim health official had decided that Tesla’s plant was not necessary, according to the email, which meant it had to comply with the “in-place asylum” order and stop operations. County health officials also said it would be a “public health risk” to keep manufacturing facilities open and report to 10,000 workers, though it was not clear in the email whether Tesla was specifically informed. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

19, Chia and other Tesla executives told the city in a video conference that the company would comply with the order. “I would like to reiterate that the city of Fremont attaches great importance to Tesla as a partner and thank you for your contribution to our economy and our community,” Petersen wrote in an email to the March 21 memorial meeting. We are very grateful to you for your willingness to work together to combat the spread of COVID-19 by putting public health ahead of all other priorities. “

Later in the day, however, Chia called Peterson’s letter “inaccurate” and the two sides held another video conference on March 22. During that meeting, Tesla’s acting general counsel told the city that he believed a statewide “in-place asylum” order issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom had replaced the county-level asylum order and that the language of the state order was open to Tesla. In another memo sent to Tesla on March 22, Petersen wrote that, despite this, she felt “must adhere to the interpretation of the entire county-wide order.”

Tesla eventually decided to continue to shut down the plant. It also told city officials that this would continue to lead some factory workers to carry out so-called tail-sweeping work. Since then, the company has cut operations in Gigafactory, Nevada, by more than 75 percent and closed its solar panel plant in New York. Curiously, Petersen told Tesla in an email that if the company “transitions to making ventilators or other devices designed to help fight COVID-19,” it could keep the plant open. Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, said the company is currently sourcing and delivering much-needed ventilators and surgical masks in California and New York, and that he hopes to build them with the help of Medtronic. But Musk has said he plans to build a ventilator at Tesla’s plant in New York rather than in California.