Bill Gates Blasts Elon Musk for Making 'Outrageous' COVID-19 Statements
Gates slams Tesla founder for making public comments on the coronavirus
Bill Gates has blasted fellow-billionaire Elon Musk for making "outrageous" public statements about COVID-19.
On Tuesday, Microsoft-founder Gates spoke at length with CNBC about online misinformation regarding the coronavirus and himself.
When the conversation pivoted to Musk’s comments on the virus, Gates suggested that the SpaceX and Tesla CEO is unqualified to speak about the pandemic.
"Elon’s positioning is to maintain a high level of outrageous comments,” Gates told CNBC.
Gates, who isn't a qualified doctor, argued that Musk should stick to his areas of expertise instead of spreading falsehoods about the coronavirus.
He said Musk shouldn't "confuse" being an expert on electric cars and rockets with getting "involved in vaccines."
"He’s not much involved in vaccines," Gates said about Musk.
"He makes a great electric car. And his rockets work well.
"So he’s allowed to say these things.
"I hope that he doesn’t confuse areas he’s not involved in too much.”
Gates’ comments come after the billionaire Tesla CEO has spoken about COVID-19 and expressed doubt over the severity of the pandemic in the United States even as cases have increased across the nation, according to News Thud.
"There are a lot of C19 false positives messing up the numbers,” Musk tweeted on June 30.
"Even tests with 5% false positive rate (in *field,* not lab) would show up as ~17 million fake C19 cases even if there were actually none.”
Around the time that tweet was published, 48,000 new positive COVID-19 cases were announced in the US, breaking a single-day record at that time, The New York Times reported.
More than 4.3 million people have been infected with COVID-19 in the US while 148,400 have died as of July 28, according to The Times’ analysis.
It’s not the only time Musk has been vocal about the way the US is handling the pandemic.
In April, he called shelter-in-place measures meant to curb the virus’ spread “fascist” during a Tesla earnings call in May.
“Frankly, I would call it forcible imprisoning of people in their homes, against all of their constitutional rights, in my opinion,” Musk said.
“It’s breaking people’s freedoms in ways that are horrible and wrong and not why they came to America or built this country.”
He also tweeted in March the false statement that “kids are essentially immune” to the coronavirus, a tweet that also drew controversy for Twitter’s decision not to take any action against it.
“Kids are essentially immune, but elderly with existing conditions are vulnerable,” Musk tweeted on March 19.
“Family gatherings with close contact between kids & grandparents probably most risky.”
Both the Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School say that children can become infected with COVID-19, though in many cases children can experience milder symptoms.
John Hopkins Medicine cites a study in Pediatrics examining COVID-19 in Chinese children, which found that 90% of those who tested positive experienced few or no symptoms.
Another severe illness, Multisystem Inflammatory Disease, however, appears to also be linked to children who contract the coronavirus.
Musk also praised Texas for allowing retailers to open in late April.
“Bravo Texas!” he tweeted along with a link to a Texas Tribune story on April 29 about restaurants, stores, and other businesses being allowed to reopen.
That tweet came after Tesla had to scrap its plans to bring employees back to work at its Fremont facility, according to CNBC.