SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has apparently doubled down on his recent claims that the whole "coronavirus panic is dumb", with the famous entrepreneur going on to share his thoughts on the coverage of the ongoing outbreak.
As one social media user asked him why exactly he feels that way, the tycoon argued that the coronavirus’ "virality is overstated due to conflating diagnosis date with contraction date & over-extrapolating exponential growth, which is never what happens in reality", adding in a follow-up tweet that the "fatality rate also greatly overstated".
Virality of C19 is overstated due to conflating diagnosis date with contraction date & over-extrapolating exponential growth, which is never what happens in reality. Keep extrapolating & virus will exceed mass of known universe!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 8, 2020
Fatality rate also greatly overstated. Because there are so few test kits, those who die with respiratory symptoms are tested for C19, but those with minor symptoms are usually not. Prevalence of coronaviruses & other colds in general population is very high!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 8, 2020
Musk’s musing elicited a somewhat mixed reaction online, as several netizens seemed to agree with his reasoning.
Panicking is "dumb" in that it literally causes people to make worse decisions and evaluate the situation incorrectly.— Pranay Pathole (@PPathole) March 8, 2020
In this regard the media has not been particularly helpful... With the possible exception of the Vietnamese washing hands song.
Exactly my point!— java (@javatitus) March 8, 2020
Some, however, argued that healthcare in some countries seemed unprepared “for sudden spikes”, and therefore the panic was justified.
Panic is justified not because people are dying (people die due to many causes), but because our health systems are unprepared for sudden spikes.— Paras Chopra (@paraschopra) March 8, 2020
There were also those who proceeded to challenge Musk’s assertions.
Elon,— SimoneCalifano (@SimoneCalifano) March 8, 2020
The Spanish Flu (1918) infected 500 million people (100 million dead) over a world population of 1.8 bn. It seems quite exponential to me.
And a number of people simply joked about having trouble processing the stuff Musk wrote.
He is trolling everyone— Ant (@ant_kenyon) March 8, 2020