Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is not at “risk” of catching coronavirus after meeting with Oklahoma’s governor Kevin Stitt who has tested positive for the virus, according to the governor’s spokesman Charlie Hannema, as quoted by Reuters.
Stitt and other Tesla executives met on 3 July at a potential new site for the company’s factory in Tulsa. But according to Hannema, that was too long ago for the vehicle manufacture’s employees to worry about catching the disease.
“That visit was more than a week before the governor may have been contagious. There is no risk to any Tesla employees from the July 3 visit”, the spokesman said in a statement. Hannema also added that an additional meeting with the company representatives was conducted via Zoom.
“The science now is that an infected person is only possibly contagious 48 hours before the onset of symptoms”, he added, assuring reporters that anyone in contact with the governor before Saturday was not at risk as his symptoms are said to only have developed on Monday.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention argues that it is not yet known how long a person can stay infectious with COVID-19 for, but recommends anyone who has had contact with a person who has fallen ill with the disease to stay home for 2 weeks.
Tesla did not respond to Reuters when asked whether any employees were tested for coronavirus following a meeting with Stitt. Some netizens however doubted the spokesman’s certainty:
Give it 14 days.— Talking Truth (@Peaky___Blinder) July 16, 2020
They found a cure ? Vaccine ?🤡— Louis Cadet (@LCQuince) July 16, 2020
Never understand these crazy statements. Perhaps he didn't meet him making their statement would be true otherwise there will always be a risk.— Pete Armstrong (@PeteJArmstrong) July 16, 2020
wait for it...— Smile 4Me Nature (@Smile_Me_Nature) July 16, 2020
He is a Martian. They don’t get Covid!— Subramanian Sharma (@KannanSharma) July 16, 2020
The Oklahoma governor was an outspoken advocate for reopening his state and lifting lockdown restrictions as early as possible. Stitt was also repeatedly criticized for appearing in public without a face covering, including during President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa on 20 June.
On 15 July Stitt announced that he had tested positive for coronavirus but said that he feels “fine”, despite being “pretty shocked” to become the first US governor to get infected with the virus. He added that he was not considering introducing “a mask mandate” in Oklahoma, where around 22,000 cases of coronavirus have been registered so far.