Even though some didnt even know they were on the list
Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images
President Trump has spent the week fumbling to lay out his vision for reopening the US economy during the novel coronavirus pandemic. First, he convened a group of CEOs from the tech, transportation, and other industries without telling many of them about their participation. Then, on Thursday, he rolled out a plan that was a surprise to many of those same industry leaders. Now, on Friday, Trump called for citizens in Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia to LIBERATE their states, each being a place where protests against social distancing have bubbled up all week.
LIBERATE MINNESOTA! LIBERATE MICHIGAN! LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment, the President of the United States wrote Friday. It is under siege!
Twitter doesnt see a rules violation, of course
People involved in those protests which are being backed or promoted in part by anti-vaccination groups and anti-government funds linked to the Kochs are already seeing it as a literal call to arms, according to NBC.
Industry leaders have abandoned the Presidents councils before in reaction to his overreaches of authority, racist behavior, or both. But so far, at least, the inciting language Trump tweeted on Friday isnt enough to shake anyone loose from these new ramshackle advisory groups. Instead, it looks more like the business-as-usual approach for many of them, which involves cozyingup to the Trump administration in hopes of getting something that they want, regardless of optics, material cost, or the fact that it often backfires.
As for the tweets themselves, Twitter tells The Verge that it did not find them to be in violation of the the companys rules, which is not surprising given how the company generally treats Trump to begin with. Twitter said that the use of the word liberate is vague and unclear, and that it isnt necessarily calling for harmful action. Twitter pointed The Verge to a March 18th update to its policy enforcement guidance that specifically deals with COVID-19, which states:
Well continue to prioritize removing content when it has a clear call to action that could directly pose a risk to peoples health or well-being, but we want to make it clear that we will not be able to take enforcement action on every Tweet that contains incomplete or disputed information about COVID-19.
Heres the full accounting of the members of the group, and below is a list of who weve reached out to, and what (if anything) theyve said.
- Apple, whose CEO Tim Cook is part of the advisory group, declined to comment.
- Google, whose CEO Sundar Pichai is part of the advisory group, declined to comment.
- Microsoft, whose CEO Satya Nadella is part of the group, declined to comment.
- Facebook, whose CEO Mark Zuckerberg is part of the group, declined to comment.
- Intel, whose CEO Bob Swan is part of the group, declined to comment.
- Tesla, whose CEO Elon Musk is part of the group, did not respond to a request for comment.
- General Motors, whose CEO Mary Barra is part of the group, said through a spokesperson it doesnt see the linkage between the companys role on the advisory group and the Presidents call for citizens to rise up against the orders of their state governments, and declined to comment any further on the tweets. The spokesperson instead said GM is working with other automakers and the United Auto Workers union on figuring out the best way to restart production at its automotive plants.
- Fiat Chrysler, whose CEO Mike Manley is part of the group, said its first priority is the health and safety of our employees, their families and the communities we call home, and also called out the companys ongoing work with the UAW. A company spokesperson said Fiat Chrysler is pleased to work with the Administration to ensure that the appropriate social-distancing protocols and PPE are in place for our workers to be safe and productive as we restart production at our facilities across the United States.
- Ford, whose executive chairman Bill Ford is part of the group, did not respond to a request for comment.
- Uber, whose CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is part of the group, did not respond to a request for comment.
- United Airlines, whose executive chairman Oscar Munoz is part of the group, did not respond to a request for comment.
This post will be updated if and when any other companies respond.
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