Elon Musk’s Dumb Coronavirus Claims Are Fuelling Conspiracy Theories
Elon Musk is fuelling coronavirus conspiracy theories through tweets questioning testing and false positive results.
Despite the fact the United States is the worst-hit country in the world for coronavirus, with more than 10 million confirmed cases and 244,000 deaths, Musk has irresponsibly used his platform to question the virus.
His comments come after he told his 39.9 million Twitter followers that he tested both positive and negative for coronavirus in the same day.
He claimed that ‘something extremely bogus is going on’ and began to question the reliability of testing, asking people who knew about the process to share ‘the approximate false positive rate’ of slower PCR tests, which use a nasal swab. Musk underwent a rapid antigen test, which can provide results within 15 minutes.
Is it possible to generate a false positive if you simply run enough cycles?
Musk suggested that the continued increase in cases in the US is down to false positives produced during rapid testing, and he agreed with a follower who suggested that ‘revenues from tests are likely not bogus & very consistent.’
After sharing his thoughts with the world, Musk caught the attention of the r/conspiracy Reddit page, which branded him a truthteller while claiming coronavirus is a lie, Vice reports.
A thread about his tweets made it to the top of the subreddit, and one moderator commented:
This coronavirus nonsense is becoming inhumane beyond all possible reason. WTF are people still thinking? This sh*t is 100% fabricated and the biggest scam of our time.
Another Reddit user said they were ‘impressed’ with Musk for ‘speaking out’ about coronavirus testing.
According to The Atlantic, medical experts have admitted that rapid tests ‘will not work as promised’ and could lead to thousands of false results. PCR testing is considered to be much more reliable in producing accurate results.
A number of social media users have criticised Musk for his ‘irresponsible’ tweets about coronavirus. As CEO and founder of successful companies Tesla and SpaceX, he has the ability to influence millions of people.
By questioning the testing process, Musk may put people off getting them, which in turn could lead to missed diagnoses and otherwise preventable spreading of the virus.
Musk told his followers he experienced ‘symptoms of a typical cold’, and announced that he was undergoing a PCR test to try and determine whether he has coronavirus. Responding to one follower this morning, he wrote, ‘Almost no symptoms today, so hopefully better results.’
You can find accurate and trustworthy information about coronavirus from the World Health Organization.
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CreditsVice and 2 others