A hot potato: Bill Gates thinks fellow billionaire Elon Musk should stick to electric cars and rockets instead of spreading controversial opinions on Covid-19. The ex-Microsoft boss called Musk’s comments on the virus “outrageous” during a TV appearance yesterday.
“Elon’s positioning is to maintain a high level of outrageous comments,” Gates said in an interview with CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin on Squawk Box. “He’s not much involved in vaccines. 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.”
Musk has never been one to shy away from speaking his mind. Back in April, he said the lockdowns were “fascist” and infringed on people’s rights. He was in no hurry to shut down Tesla’s Freemont factory, waiting almost a week after the Bay Area ordered non-essential businesses to close before complying. It was later reopened “against Alameda County rules,” for which Musk asked only he be arrested.
Musk has recently taken to arguing over Covid-19 infection numbers. He has tweeted about the “ridiculous number of false positive C19 tests,” which he claimed are a “big part of why C19 positive tests are going up while hospitalisations and mortality are declining.”
No one benefits if people with platforms allowing them to reach millions are spreading demonstrably false information and public health guidance.
— Dr. Angela Rasmussen (@angie_rasmussen) July 2, 2020
There have been over 4.3 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the US and 149,256 deaths, more than any other country.
Speaking about social media’s role in the spread of misinformation, Gates said: “When you let people communicate, you have to deal with the fact that certain incorrect things that are very titillating can spread very rapidly compared to the truth. And we’ve always seen that with vaccines.”