CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — "He's still sleeping." That's the quip Elon Musk gave in answer to why President Joe Biden hasn't offered congratulations to SpaceX's historic first-ever all-civilian space flight.
It's also a callback to former President Donald Trump's "nickname" for Biden during the 2020 presidential campaign — "Sleepy" Joe.
On Sunday, a Twitter user wrote "The President of the United States has refused to even acknowledge the 4 newest American astronauts who helped raise hundreds of millions of dollars for St. Jude. What's your theory on why that is?"
Musk, who wasn't tagged in the original tweet, responded saying, "He's still sleeping."
Over the weekend, SpaceX successfully returned the world's first all-civilian Inspiration4 space crew from orbit. The mission raised almost $150 million to help cure childhood cancer.
Musk has stated in the past that he prefers to "stay out of politics," but his SpaceX company generally has a good relationship with the federal government. Earlier this year, the company secured a $2.89 billion contract to build NASA's lunar lander - successfully outbidding rival Jeff Bezos.
Prior to Biden's presidency, the Department of Justice began investigating SpaceX following accusations that the company discriminated applicants based on their citizenship status.