Elon Musk may have won his fight to reopen his California-based Tesla plant in May 2020, but hundreds of his employees were left infected with COVID-19.

New data compiled from transparency website PlainSite revealed that about 440 of the estimated 10,000 Tesla plant employees tested positive for COVID-19 from the time it was reopened in May to December. PlainSite has often tweeted criticism of Musk's practices. 

Despite stay-at-home orders in place and closing non-essential businesses, Musk defied the mandate issued by Alameda County, where the plant is based. He reopened the plant and proceeded to taunt officials by sharing tweets suggesting they arrest him.

“Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules,” Musk previously tweeted. “I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me."

In May 2020, Tesla filed a lawsuit against Alameda County due to the shutdown regulations and threatened to leave California. Tesla later dropped the suit after an agreement was reached. Tesla agreed to implement physical distancing guidelines and other protocols to keep workers safe. However, the company was later criticized for its treatment of workers.

After promising to allow employees who felt uncomfortable to stay home, workers later received notices threatening termination in late June and July if they did not return to work.

Musk has often undermined the severity of the coronavirus. Forbes recently released a series of Musk's false or misleading comments amid the pandemic.

News of Tesla's investment in bitcoin lifted the cryptocurrency to a new record News of Tesla's investment in bitcoin lifted the cryptocurrency to a new record Photo: AFP / Odd ANDERSEN