Elon Musk has faced criticism after questioning the effectiveness of Covid-19 testing over the weekend.
Last week, the SpaceX founder revealed on Twitter that he had received four rapid antigen COVID-19 tests that returned two positives and two negatives.
“Something extremely bogus is going on,” he tweeted. “Was tested for covid four times today. Two tests came back negative, two came back positive. Same machine, same test, same nurse. Rapid antigen test.”
Rapid antigen tests trade sensitivity for speed. They return a result in <30 minutes, but can only detect COVID-19 when you're absolutely riddled with it. What's bogus is that Space Karen didn't read up on the test before complaining to his millions of followers. pic.twitter.com/a1Snfpm03h
— Emma Bell PhD (@emmabell42) November 14, 2020
He later tweeted that he “most likely” had a moderate case of coronavirus.
“Am getting wildly different results from different labs, but most likely I have a moderate case of covid. My symptoms are that of a minor cold, which is no surprise, since a coronavirus is a type of cold,” he went on.
Having downplayed it as a “type of cold”, Musk subsequently faced backlash on Twitter.
“Rapid antigen tests trade sensitivity for speed. They return a result in <30 minutes, but can only detect COVID-19 when you’re absolutely riddled with it,” one user replied to Musk’s apparent scepticism.
“What’s bogus is that Space Karen didn’t read up on the test before complaining to his millions of followers.”
— dan hett (@danhett) November 16, 2020
Musk’s diagnosis meant he was forced to remain at home while a team of SpaceX astronauts were successfully launched from Florida on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS) last night (November 15).
The crew’s Falcon rocket and Dragon capsule left the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center at 19:27 local time (00:27 GMT, Monday).