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Stocks, house and Grimes’ baby: Elon Musk melts down on Twitter over coronavirus

Elon Musk is having a moment, perhaps because his girlfriend Grimes is about to have their baby — or perhaps because he can’t stand the coronavirus lockdown.

The SpaceX and Tesla founder’s critics say he has become increasingly unhinged on Twitter over the last week, while railing against the stay-at-home order that has snarled much of his work in the state of California.

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Musk has been bidding “bon voyage” to his more than 33 million followers, casting doubt on the threat of COVID-19 and tweeting “FREE AMERICA NOW” in a bizarre string of posts over the last few days.

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He took things even further on Friday, when he seemingly woke up and launched into full-fledged meltdown mode. Musk rattled off several tweets quoting from The Star Spangled Banner, claimed that Tesla stock was “too high” in his opinion, then vowed to sell “almost all” of his physical possessions, declaring that he “will own no house.”

“Don’t need the cash,” he said in response to one user. “Devoting myself to Mars and Earth. Possession[s] just weigh you down.”

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Musk added that his girlfriend, the Canadian singer known as Grimes, is “mad” at him in a follow-up tweet about the house. He then responded to questions about the upcoming birth of their first child together.

“This is the best news I’ve heard so far. This means you’re still together, despite speculation to the contrary,” one user wrote in response to Musk’s tweet about Grimes.

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“Baby due on Monday,” Musk replied.

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Musk added one condition to selling his house, which apparently once belonged to actor Gene Wilder.

“It cannot be torn down or lose any [of] its soul,” he wrote.

Although Twitter appears to be Musk’s favourite way to vent his frustrations right now, he also let loose during a Tesla earnings call on Wednesday.

“Forcibly imprisoning people in their homes is against all their constitutional rights,” he said on the call. “People should be outraged.”

Tesla was forced to close its plant on March 23 under a sweeping lockdown order in the San Francisco Bay area. It’s unclear when the order will end and Tesla will be allowed to re-open.

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Tesla shares plunged by 10 per cent after Musk commented on their value Friday. The company lost about $14 billion in value and Musk’s stake dropped by $3 billion, BBC reports.

Some of Musk’s fans rallied to his defence on Twitter while observers cracked jokes about his apparent bout of self-sabotage.

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“Elon Musk has gone off the deep end,” one user wrote.

“Elon Musk is a hell of a drug,” added another.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

With files from The Associated Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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