Elon Musk said he took his kids to Walmart to see the pandemic toilet paper shortage with his own eyes

Elon Musk said he took his kids to Walmart to see the pandemic toilet paper shortage with his own eyes
Tesla CEO Elon Musk.Fabian Sommer/picture alliance via Getty Images
  • Elon Musk compared the toilet paper shortages to global chip shortage during Tesla's Q4 earnings call.
  • Musk said he took his children to Walmart and H-E-B to see the shortages for himself.

Elon Musk went to witness pandemic panic-buying of toilet paper for himself, the billionaire told investors.

Musk revealed the excursion while discussing the global chip shortage during Tesla's Q4 earnings call on Wednesday.

On the call, Musk compared the global chip shortage to toilet paper shortages that hit stores and supermarkets early in the pandemic.

Complimentary Tech Event
Discover the future of SaaS in India
The 6-part video series will capture the vision of Indian SaaS leaders and highlight the potential for the sector in the decades to come.25th Aug, 2022 Starts at 04:00 PM (40 mins)Register Now
Our Speakers
Dan Sheeran
Sandeep Gupta

"I think there's some degree of the toilet paper problem as well where there was a toilet paper shortage during COVID. Obviously, it wasn't really certainly a tremendous enhanced need for ass-wiping. It's just people panicked and got every paper product you could possibly wipe your ass with basically," Musk said.

He then told investors he had been so intrigued by the toilet paper shortages, he had gone to see them for himself.


"I wasn't sure, is this like a real thing or not? I actually took my kids to the H-E-B and Walmart in Texas to just confirm if it was real. Indeed, it was. And there's plenty of food and everything else but just nothing, no paper products," he said.

Musk said toilet paper was an "odd choice" of item for people to panic about.

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

Musk expressed skepticism over the severity of the pandemic in its early stages. In March 2020 he tweeted "the coronavirus panic is dumb."

He also raged against stay-at-home orders, describing them as "fascist" and saying they amounted to "forcible imprisoning of people in their homes against all of their constitutional rights" during a Tesla earnings call in April.


The Tesla billionaire told Time magazine in December 2021 that he and his children are vaccinated, and he opposes mask mandates.