The masters of the world in Silicon Valley, as always, think that they are excused from the rules that us mere mortals have to follow.
In this case, they are ignoring the rules of basic biology, because they believe that they can disrupt their way out of a pandemic:
Michael Saylor does not often send all-staff emails to the more than 2,000 employees at Microstrategy, a business intelligence firm headquartered in Tysons Corner, Virginia. So the chief executive’s 3,000-word missive on Monday afternoon with the subject line My Thoughts on Covid-19 got his employees’ attention.
“It is soul-stealing and debilliating [sic] to embrace the notion of social distancing & economic hibernation,” Saylor wrote in an impassioned argument against adopting the aggressive responses to the coronavirus pandemic that public health authorities are advising. “If we wish to maintain our productivity, we need to continue working in [our] offices.”
As companies around the world adjust to the reality of the coronavirus pandemic, including by allowing their employees to work from home in compliance with the national guidelines of many governments, some executives are attempting to continue doing business as usual. The trend is notable in the tech industry, where computer-based work can generally be performed from anywhere, but where the culture has often rewarded innovative and “disruptive” leaders who buck conventional wisdom.
Saylor argued that the “economic damage” of social distancing and quarantines was greater than “the theoretical benefit of slowing down a virus” and suggested that it would make more sense to “quarantine the 40 million elderly retired, immune compromised people who no longer need to work or get educated”.
Elon Musk, billionaire chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX, prompted considerable consternation when he tweeted, “The coronavirus panic is dumb” to his 32.3 million followers on 6 March. Despite widespread criticism of his message, which flew in the face of public health efforts to convince the general population to take the spread of the virus seriously, Musk has continued to downplay the threat.
“As a basis for comparison, the risk of death from C19 is *vastly* less than the risk of death from driving your car home,” Musk wrote in an email to SpaceX employees, according to BuzzFeed News. “There are about 36 thousand automotive deaths per deaths [sic], as compared to 36 so far this year for C19.”
On Tuesday, thousands of factory workers at Tesla’s plant in the San Francisco Bay area reported to work, despite a “shelter-in-place” order that was supposed to shutter all “non-essential” businesses. Musk told factory employees to stay home “if you feel the slightest bit ill or even uncomfortable”, the Los Angeles Times reported. By Tuesday afternoon, the local sheriff’s office announced that Tesla was not an essential business and could only maintain “minimum basic operations”. (As an aside here, Musk will get a multi BILLION dollar payoff in the next few months if he manages to juice the stock price sufficiently)
Another billionaire, venture capitalist Tim Draper, tweeted on 14 March, “The fear is far worse than the virus. The governments have it wrong. Stay open for business. If not, so many more people will die from a crashing economy than from this virus.”
The masters of the universe believe that their personal gains outweigh the health of the rest of society, because they are a bunch or nasty-ass psychopaths.