Did Elon Musk Take His Kids To Walmart To Confirm The Pandemic-Era Toilet Paper Shortage?

When he’s not putting electric vehicles on the road or tweeting the cryptocurrency markets into roller coasters or sending rockets into space — with one eventually crashing on the moon — Elon Musk is giving his children a hands-on education in the Business 101 concepts of supply and demand.

What Happened: During the fourth-quarter earnings call for Tesla Inc TSLA, Musk offered a relatively rare glimpse into his private life by acknowledging that he took his children on a field trip to a couple of major retailers to confirm reports of a shortage in toilet paper inventories during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Obviously, it wasn't really certainly a tremendous, enhanced need for ass wiping,” Musk quipped during the earnings call. “It's just people panicked in order and got every paper you could possibly wipe your ass with.

“Basically, this is like a real thing — I actually took my kids to the H-E-B and Walmart Inc WMT in Texas to just confirm if this was real. Indeed, it was. And there's plenty of food and everything else, but just nothing, no paper products. An odd choice for people to panic about.”

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Why It Matters: Musk’s observation came in response to a question regarding the shortage of semiconductor chips and the impact on the automobile industry.

“It's not a long-term thing,” Musk said, noting that “there's a great amount of chip fabs being built, which is great.”

Still, Musk remained confused on why there was an irrational focus by many consumers on toilet paper during the pandemic.

"If the end of the world is coming, I think toilet paper is the least of your problems," he deadpanned.

Photo: NASA Kennedy / Flickr Creative Commons

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Posted In: NewsCOVID-19 PandemicEarnings CallElon Musksupply chain disruptiontoilet papertrendy story
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