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Elon Musk says he and his family are vaccinated but that mandates for the masses are an 'erosion of freedom'

·2 min read
Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk.Filip Singer-Pool/Getty Images
  • Elon Musk and his eligible children are vaccinated against COVID-19.

  • But Musk told Time he's against vaccine mandates: "People do risky things all the time," he said.

  • Musk previously expressed doubts about the COVID-19 vaccine and resisted shelter-in-place measures.

After downplaying the coronavirus and expressing skepticism about vaccines, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that he and his eligible children have gotten the COVID-19 jab.

"The science is unequivocal," Musk said in an interview with Time published on Monday in conjunction with him being named as the magazine's 2021 Person of the Year.

He doesn't think the government should enforce vaccine mandates, however. The unvaccinated are "taking a risk, but people do risky things all the time," he said. "I believe we've got to watch out for the erosion of freedom in America."

The Biden administration has imposed a vaccine mandate on US businesses with more than 100 employees, but the rule has been blocked by courts. In New York City, employees of private companies need to have received at least one shot by late December.

Such measures have received vocal pushback, particularly from the unvaccinated population, but polls show that most Americans are supportive of the requirements.

Musk has made it clear before he's no fan of big government imposing restrictions on people and businesses in the name of fighting the pandemic. When California forced nonessential businesses to close, Musk fought publicly with officials and eventually reopened Tesla's California factory in defiance of their rules.

In April 2020, an exasperated Musk slammed shelter-in-place measures as "fascist" and "breaking people's freedoms in ways that are horrible and wrong and not why they came to America or built this country."

He's also voiced doubts about the coronavirus vaccine and shared anti-vaccine content online. In a September 2020 interview with The New York Times, Musk said he and his family did not plan to take a vaccine when it was made available. In April, he tweeted and quickly deleted an edited cartoon that depicted Bill Gates as the mastermind behind the pandemic and vaccine rollout.

For more than a year, conspiracy theorists have pushed the idea that Gates planned the pandemic and the vaccine to implant microchips into people.

After taking heat for doubting the vaccine, Musk clarified his view in an April tweet: "To be clear, I do support vaccines in general & covid vaccines specifically. The science is unequivocal."

Read the original article on Business Insider