Last week, the most famous person in tech started retweeting posts about the coronavirus. His goal? To counter the argument that the pandemic is getting worse.
The problem is: Most predictions are proving accurate.
Experts have certainly stated on the record that there are serious concerns. Just today, Dr. Deborah Birx, representing The White House, said as many as 200,000 people could die in the U.S. if the outbreak is handled “perfectly” in every way.
Who and what you retweet can reveal a lot.
Musk had retweeted a book author and journalist named Alex Berenson, saying the estimates for infection and deaths are inflated. Berenson also mentioned how the lockdown in the U.K. is working after only two days. It’s all a bunch of theories and counter-arguments, but it seems as though Musk agrees with them.
Earlier this month, Elon Musk noted how it is dumb to panic during the pandemic. I was surprised he didn’t parse out the fact that the word panic is literally part of pandemic (the first three letters and the last two). Not all panic is 100% negative, by the way. Panic is a valid response in some situations where we need to act fast and find workable solutions.
In one post late last week, Musk mentioned the idea of administering an antibody test for COVID-19 to see if you are immune. Here’s the tweet:
(Side note: To find out more about giving blood in your area, visit this link. Another great piece is here with information about how you can get involved with the counterattack. I’ll keep adding more links soon with helpful info.)
It’s all good information about antibodies and I appreciate the efforts Tesla is putting into the problem. Last week, the company Musk co-founded donated hundreds of ventilators. Great! Now for the open letter portion of this post.
Dear Elon Musk, please stop.
I don’t want to hear about overestimates or counter-arguments or whether we should panic. As the Governor of Michigan recently explained to President Trump (saying she doesn’t have time for every slight and just needs help), it’s not the best time for rhetoric. What we really need is for smart entrepreneurs to figure out solutions and to focus on resolving problems. I want more tweets about that.
I’m not sure what the retweets were designed to accomplish, to be honest. Maybe it’s to calm people down and help us all to think logically. I don’t care. I want to read about solutions. There are enough good sources for information about the pandemic, including the CDC website. In fact, there are thousands and thousands of links and millions of tweets. Adding more links doesn’t help. One quick check of the BuzzSumo site that shows trending stories and you can see that everyone has an opinion and there are hundreds of news articles.
You have almost 33 million followers.
When you say anything, people jump into action. Instead of a series of retweets about how things are not so bad, how about a series of tweets about how people can get involved, how they can help — and how you can be part of the solution.
We’re running out of time.
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