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Elon Musk Says He “Most Likely” Has COVID-19, Calls It “A Type of Cold”


Elon Musk has long been something of a COVID-19 truther, and that doesn’t seem to have changed — despite “most likely” catching the virus.

On Friday, the Tesla founder revealed on Twitter that he’d received four rapid antigen COVID-19 tests — “same machine, same test, same nurse” — that came back with two positives and two negatives. Ever the inquisitive man of science, Musk set about asking for input from those with knowledge of the PCR (polymerase chain reaction, the process used to detect virus RNA in DNA) test for SARS-CoV-2.

In the subsequent tweets and responses, there was a lot of intense science, mostly focused on the number of “cycles” under which the tests were run, how that impacts false positives, and the lack of a standard across the industry. He probably has a point about the need for a scientific standard, but regardless, Musk seemed to reach his pre-determined conclusion: COVID-19 is pretty much just a cold.

“Am getting wildly different results from different labs, but most likely I have a moderate case of covid,” he tweeted on Saturday. “My symptoms are that of a minor cold, which is no surprise, since a coronavirus is a type of cold.”

On Sunday, he posted an update saying that he now felt “pretty normal” after having “symptoms of a minor cold” since last week. He implied that the experience was “mild” compared to his past “brutal flu/cold experiences.”

Early in the pandemic, Musk predicted there would be “close to zero new cases in the US” by April. Despite that guess proving demonstrably incorrect, the CEO later railed against Los Angeles’ lockdown restrictions. He then reopened his Fremont, California Tesla facility in defiance of local orders, leading to — shocker — a localized outbreak.

Why is it the ones who most loudly deny the dangers of the pandemic that always get the most minor cases? Meanwhile, the United States just passed the grim 11 million cases mark, jumping from 10 million in just under a week. Hospitals are starting to get overrun, and country-wide deaths are approaching 250,000. It’s gonna be a rough winter, but January 20th can’t come soon enough.



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