Elon Musk thinks people who are afraid of the coronavirus are dumb.
No one can doubt his genius as an inventor and businessman. But his recent tweet will age terribly, even if the health crisis is eventually brought under control.
Musk, like many highly intelligent people, is a very pragmatic thinker. He knows that the coronavirus isn’t particularly dangerous for many people and that only 100,000 people in a world of billions have been infected.
But it’s not foolish to be concerned about COVID-19. It’s a perfectly sensible reaction.
The World Health Organization exists to keep the world safe from pandemic disease. Like all international operations, they have considerable shortcomings, but they are still a group of highly qualified health experts doing their best.
And right now, they are telling you to be concerned and take precautions. They just revealed that the virus is 70% deadlier than originally feared.
Current statistics suggest that the coronavirus is exponentially more dangerous than the flu, mainly if you are above the age of 55.
Many of us may have family members who are over this age or have other health complications. Worrying about those people does not make you dumb; it makes you human.
I wonder what Dr. Li Wenliang would say about Elon Musk’s comments. China silenced the whistleblowing doctor who raised the alarm about the rapid spread of the disease. He’s now dead.
It’s possible the Chinese government told him precisely the same thing: that there was no cause for alarm. He gave his life fighting the coronavirus, and he is not the only one.
Leading experts acknowledge that we still don’t know very much about the coronavirus. It, therefore, seems prudent to hold off from making any sweeping judgments.
Musk is going to regret showing such a blatant lack of empathy. Plenty of studies on billionaires show their sociopathic and psychopathic tendencies. This comment doesn’t do much to dissuade that point of view.
Fear is a defense mechanism that keeps people safe. As the United States has proven, complacency is more of a problem than zealousness.
Hopefully, Elon isn’t just saying this because he’s worried about Tesla’s supply chain or the value of the NASDAQ: TSLA stock.
Musk’s tweet is a strange no-win situation for the billionaire. At best, the coronavirus goes away, and those without decent healthcare or pre-existing conditions resent him for his lack of empathy.
At worst, he’s wrong, and the outbreak becomes a true global pandemic. This tweet won’t look great in a court of law if a sick employee sues Tesla for failing to take precautions.
Either way, it’s a misstep comparable to his infamous “pedo guy” case. Elon Musk might be a genius, but he’s not always smart.
Disclaimer: The opinions in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.