Bill Gates takes a swipe at Elon Musk’s ‘outrageous’ comments on ‘false’ Covid cases

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Updated: Aug 02, 2020 7:44 PM

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates wants Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to focus on what he does best instead of making “outrageous comments” about Covid-19.

Gates also underscored that misinformation and fake news tend to go viral faster than facts on social media platforms.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates wants Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to focus on what he does best instead of making “outrageous comments” about Covid-19. “Elon’s positioning is to maintain a high level of outrageous comments,” Gates told CNBC recently. Elon Musk had previously commented on alleged fake positive cases being reported and meddling with the actual cases, indirectly questioning the Covid testing process of the US government. “There are a lot of C19 false positives messing up the numbers. 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,” Musk had tweeted on July 1.

“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,” Gates added. The billionaire philanthropist was also critical of the time taken for Covid results to be out after tests calling them a “complete waste” as Covid cases continue to surge in the US along with deaths due to the deadly virus.

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For instance, for the American diagnostics major Quest Diagnostics, continuous high demand for testing has strained its capacity to test and consequently extended the turnaround time for results. Hence, its average turnaround time for bringing out Covid results is now more than two days for its priority patients such as hospital patients, pre-operative patients in acute care settings and symptomatic healthcare workers and seven days for other patients, it said in a statement on its website.

Gates also underscored that misinformation and fake news tend to go viral faster than facts on social media platforms and “we’ve always seen that with vaccines,” he said. This speed of virality, which happens to faster in case of lies than facts, makes it tough for enterprises like Twitter and Facebook to strike balance.

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