With the number of coronavirus cases rising around the world, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk called the panic surrounding the infection ‘dumb’. His tweet soon went viral and went on to garner over a million likes, triggering a serious debate online.
“The coronavirus panic is dumb,” Musk tweeted as US equity markets ended another week in turmoil fearing the impact of the virus on economic activity. While most entrepreneurs and CEO in Silicon Valley are asking or allowing their employees to work from home to curtail its spread, no such facility or measure has been announced by any of Musk’s companies.
The coronavirus panic is dumb
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 6, 2020
Tesla’s stocks too have been hit hard according to MArke Watch, “The COVID-19 outbreak in China has been called ‘a clear headwind’ for Tesla, which has pinned a lot of its expansion plans on the Chinese market and the performance of its Shanghai factory.”
Many people on the internet were irked by his tweet and slammed him highlighting that there are still many people who are not taking preventive measures seriously and hence the infection continues to spread. Few dubbed him ‘insensitive’ as the virus has killed over 3000 people already and some trolled him with sarcastic memes.
It is when you have the luxury/privilege of not having to use public transport, the knowledge that if you get it- Hospital bills won’t be a problem.
The finances to sanitise your home & work frm there.
I’m not saying mass panic is the way to go -but being dismissive isn’t either. https://t.co/aUlzCW3QYd
— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) March 7, 2020
New rule: If you’re not an infectious disease expert, do not give your opinion about coronavirus. https://t.co/zxopOhwUPm
— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) March 7, 2020
Alt tweet: Eccentric billionaire with unlimited resources to protect himself and his loved ones from virtually all natural and man-made disasters calls people who are not similarly resourced “dumb”. https://t.co/eBqnFnwvqX
— Ben Rudolph (@BenThePCGuy) March 6, 2020
I’m sure it seems like that from SPACE. All you can see is a blue marble with some interchangeable profit centers on it.
— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) March 6, 2020
We don’t need you to change the world. We need you to change. https://t.co/pxh6z7j3u7
— Anand Giridharadas (@AnandWrites) March 6, 2020
Says a man with financial means to fly private, have the finest medical care, and all sorts of protections the average citizen doesn’t.
If you can get sick without fearing for your livelihood, you can shut the fuck up. https://t.co/VIZks5ua6t
— Alice Radley (@alice_radley) March 7, 2020
Elon this is not a good tweet. People are still not taking proper steps.
You are a man of science. Can I set up a call with some scientists to help change your mind?
— Bruce Fenton (@brucefenton) March 6, 2020
Not to worry, though, you’ll have to furlough your employees at some point if China’s steep drop in automobile purchases is any indication of the future.
— Pé Resists (@4everNeverTrump) March 6, 2020
Your contempt for working families who can’t afford healthcare is peak privilege and pretty goddamn dumb. https://t.co/S63A92Z1sY
— Karishma Mehta 🌹 (@Karish4VA) March 7, 2020
Agreed elon they did the same over global warmin and its still snowing in lots of places
— Ned (@Nedsfeed) March 6, 2020
when you own a spaceship and already have a home built on mars: https://t.co/t2S01iAmwM
— BABY MONSTER❄️ (@morrrgggan) March 7, 2020
when you can buy new lungs https://t.co/MSJk2nCIMw
— blue admiral. (@MariamFenty_) March 6, 2020
— Dr Lauren Gavaghan (@DancingTheMind) March 7, 2020
However, few sided with him and defended him saying he only tried to reduce the panic and not the outbreak in general. (Explained: Some say the coronavirus risk is exaggerated, the ‘normal’ flu is just as bad. Here’s some perspective)
People freaking-out and mass buying toilet paper and water from Costco while wearing makeshift masks is DUMB.
Elon Musk is 100% correct.
The Coronavirus panic IS dumb. #coronavirus
— Tommy Campbell (@MrTommyCampbell) March 7, 2020
I think so too. pic.twitter.com/XHhfwKrUya
— Santosh Addagulla (@santoshspeed) March 6, 2020
MyPOV: we are acting on emotion, not logic. The denominator is off b/c we don’t have prevalence data therefore fatality rates are off. Emotion has trumped logic. Fear is what we fear. #coronavirus #covid19
— R “Ray” Wang 王瑞光 #MPH #Covid19 #coronavirus (@rwang0) March 6, 2020
We don’t agree on everything, but I can’t like this enough. https://t.co/WLxdtqNOoJ
— Chris Stigall (@ChrisStigall) March 7, 2020
Regardless of which side of the “pandemic or not” debate you are on, spreading panic is not the best solution.
People are not productive when they are panicking. Plus, panic creates stress and stress weakens the immune system. https://t.co/0Lp0tA3iJS
— Preethi Kasireddy (@iam_preethi) March 7, 2020
Musk’s statement came on a day when the number of people infected with coronavirus nearly touched 100,000 across the world on Friday, with six countries reporting their first cases. However, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) urged all to fight the epidemic with “facts not fear” and with “reason not rumours”.
“WHO is working with the @wef to engage companies around the world, and earlier this week I spoke to more than 200 CEOs about how they can protect their staff and customers, ensure business continuity and contribute to the response”-@DrTedros #COVID19 #coronavirus
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 6, 2020
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 6, 2020
In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi too assured citizens there was “no need to panic” and that ministries were working together to contain the infection. “Had an extensive review regarding preparedness on the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. Different ministries and states are working together, from screening people arriving in India to providing prompt medical attention. There is no need to panic. We need to work together, take small yet important measures to ensure self-protection,” PM Modi tweeted and released a 24×7 helpline number and email id to report any suspected cases and to seek further help.
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