Tesla founder and entrepreneur Elon Musk has described the continuation of the Covid-19 lockdown as “fascist” in an earnings conference call for the business.  

He added that many small businesses would not survive the restrictions.

Mr Musk the lockdowns amounted to “forcibly imprisoning people in their homes”.

“To say that they cannot leave their house and they will be arrested if they do, this is fascist,” he said.

“This is not democratic, this is not freedom. Give people back their goddamn freedom!,” the entrepreneur said.

Mr Musk said the lockdown measures posed a “serious” risk to his electric car business, Tesla, which reluctantly stopped production in California on March 19th. .

The earnings call showed that Tesla had achieved better than expected sales volumes of 88,400 during the January-March period, with a third consecutive quarter in the black, racking up a profit of $16m after a long series of losses.

However, the coronavirus lockdown is expected to plunge the U.S. – and the world – into a deep recession.

“So the extension of the shelter-in-place or, frankly, I would call it, forcibly imprisoning people in their homes against all their constitutional rights, in my opinion, breaking people’s freedoms in ways that are horrible and wrong and not why people came to America or built this country,” Mr Musk said.

“It will cause great harm, not just to Tesla, but to any companies. And while Tesla will weather the storm, there are many small companies that will not,” he asserted.

“Free America now!” the top businessman tweeted yesterday.

Mr Musk previously described the “coronavirus panic” as “dumb”.