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Elon Musk deleted ‘LIBERTY’ tweet after calling lockdowns ‘fascist’

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted — and then quickly deleted — the word “LIBERTY” alongside American flag emoji and a picture of a swearing unicorn on Thursday morning.
  • The deleted tweet cam only a day after a Tesla conference call in which Musk called US shelter-in-place orders “fascist” and said they’re “breaking people’s freedom.”
  • In the past few weeks, the billionaire has questioned how effective lockdown orders are for saving lives during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk continued to challenge the coronavirus lockdown measures across the US by tweeting the word “LIBERTY” — before quickly deleting it.

In the early hours of Thursday, Musk tweeted the word in all caps, alongside several American flag emoji and a picture of a unicorn swearing. It was taken down within two hours.

A day earlier, during a Tesla conference call, the billionaire described US shelter-in-place orders as “fascist” and said they were imprisoning people in their homes.

“Frankly, I would call it forcible imprisoning of people in their homes against all of their constitutional rights, in my opinion,” he said during the Tesla meeting. “It’s breaking people’s freedoms in ways that are horrible and wrong and not why they came to America or built this country. What the f—. Excuse me. Outrage. Outrage.”

Though the American public is still thought to largely support most of the US’s social-distancing measures, the billionaire has become especially vocal on social media as lockdown protests have taken place in several US states. Earlier this week, he urged leaders to “FREE AMERICA NOW,” in a tweet that hasn’t been taken down.

Last week, Tesla defied California instructions to keep its staff to a minimum until May 4 by announcing that some of its employees would return to work on April 29. But on Tuesday, the company said it was canceling those plans.

On Wednesday, the company announced a surprise profit in the first quarter of 2020, despite being forced to close its main factory in California because of the coronavirus crisis.

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