To Elon Musk’s resumé of electric car pioneer, solar energy advocate, Hyperloop dreamer and space traveler, add wannabe rescuer of young boys trapped in Thai cave.
The Tesla Inc. TSLA, -0.55% chief executive said in a series of tweets Thursday that he is sending engineers from two of his companies to Thailand to assist with the effort to bring out the 12 members of a Thai soccer team and their coach from a flooded cave that has kept them underground for about two weeks.
The boys, who range in age from 11 to 16, were found alive on Monday after going missing in a flooded network of caves. The rescue effort is being hampered by high water levels that are not expected to subside for weeks and their inability to swim.
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Musk said his Boring Co., whose main mission is to dig tunnels for futuristic transport systems, and SpaceX, his space exploration company, will send engineers to Thailand on Saturday. The rescue effort can use these companies’ battery packs, air pumps and tubes, Musk said, and speculated that a nylon tube could be inserted into the cave and then inflated with air, “like a bouncy castle.”
Musk had already offered the Thai government his help earlier this week. There has been no official response to his offer yet.
The tweets proved a welcome break from another series blasted out by Musk earlier in the day that again attacked media outlets that Musk believes are hostile to Tesla, including Reuters, Business Insider and CNBC. Musk has become a relentless critic of the press and recently unveiled plans to create a Yelp-like site to let people rate the credibility of journalists and news organizations, and suggested he would name it after the former Soviet Union’s main propaganda outlet, Pravda.
On Thursday, Musk dismissed a report from Reuters TRI, +0.49% last week that described the hothouse atmosphere at Tesla’s Fremont, Calif., production plant as it pulled out all the stops to meet a key production goal.
“Reuters is relentlessly negative about Telsa,” he wrote, accusing the news agency of misleading the public.
He then proceeded to criticize Business Insider and said reporter Linette Lopez had written “several false articles” about Telsa and even paid a former employee for intellectual property. Business Insider shot down the claim and said it stands by Lopez’s reporting.
Finally, Musk criticized CNBC and its analysts for “extremely bad prediction records.”
Musk’s habit of railing against the media has led some analysts to question his suitability to the role of head of a public company. His many projects and companies have others asking if he is being spread a little too thin.
See now: After eight years as a public company, Tesla still has teething problems
Meanwhile, the company said on Monday that it had finally achieved a key production goal of 5,000 Model 3s a week, a target that had proved elusive for the past several quarters. But the goal was met by creating a temporary production line in a tent, leaving some to question whether it is sustainable.
Tesla shares were slightly lower premarket Friday, but have fallen 0.7% in 2018 through Thursday, while the S&P 500 SPX, +0.86% has gained 2.4%.
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