The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has been accompanied by the emergence of a number of bizarre conspiracy theories, like claims about 5G towers allegedly being somehow linked to the disease, prompting entrepreneur and SpaceX founder Elon Musk to address one such peculiar hypothesis.
One of Musk's fans shared a video on Twitter, featuring Italian politician Vittorio Sgarbi who, as the Sun notes, "claims that 25,000 people were not true victims of the killer bug, and that the pandemic is being used to 'establish a dictatorship' in Italy".
He is right— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 10, 2020
"He is right", Musk simply replied to the tweet, and when another netizen claimed that people who die while infected with COVID-19 but perish due to other conditions are also labeled as the coronavirus' victims, the entrepreneur added: "Absolutely. Moreover, they don’t even need to be tested for covid, just need 'covid-like symptoms', which is a long list, including 'feeling weakness'. Hard to die *without* feeling weakness!"
Absolutely. Moreover, they don’t even need to be tested for covid, just need “covid-like symptoms”, which is a long list, including “feeling weakness”. Hard to die *without* feeling weakness!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 10, 2020
Yet while a number seemed to agree with Musk and the person who posted the original tweet, there also seemed to be no shortage of those who didn't.
“Well, your honor, my client did shoot the victim, but he didn’t kill him! The victim died from a heart attack due to hypovolemic shock!” - your argument. 2/2— TygerTweets (@TygerTweets) May 10, 2020
When it’s all said and done, look at the mortality rate.— An0maly (@LegendaryEnergy) May 10, 2020
Look at the antibody tests.
Random samples at meat factories show ALL 400 employees had it and NONE OF THEM KNEW due to the mildness.
They lied & he’s closer to home. It’s not the plague.
What about the doctors in Northern Italy that said it rolled like a tsunami over them? Are they also wrong? You can't deny that this virus leads to a total collapse of health care systems if nothing is done.— Tobias Baumgartner (@Tob098) May 10, 2020
The entire premise of the OP is that THOSE NUMBERS are FAKE. Feel free to dispute that, however simply re-stating the statistic that is being challenged proves absolutely nothing. Your graphic has all the convincing arguments of "yes, way!" when someone says "no way!"..— Joshua Richards (@joshuaprichards) May 10, 2020
Some even proceeded to dig up certain other coronavirus-related tweets Elon made a few weeks ago, which may not hold water today.
And there were also those who cast doubt on Sgarbi's opinion.
Man it's Vittorio Sgarbi. Nobody listen him seriously.— Michele 囧 Latente.it (@latente_flickr) May 10, 2020
Vittorio Sgarbi isn't exactly the most trust inspiring guy in the room, even for Italian parliament standards...— Didi (@__d10r) May 10, 2020
But I guess he'll enjoy this moment of international prominence.