- Elon Musk told The New York Times he thinks he had COVID-19 in January.
- Because of the possible coronavirus case, the Tesla CEO now wears a mask when at the company’s factory.
- In the interview, Musk doubled down on false claims implying that young people are not in danger from the virus and ignored rampant evidence of asymptomatic spread among healthy people.
Elon Musk continued to dig in his heels when it comes to slowing the coronavirus pandemic.
In a New York Times interview published Saturday, the billionaire Tesla CEO once again decried lockdown orders — a proven method of slowing the virus’ spread — though in words less forceful than his “fascist” comments back in April.
“I think the reality of Covid is that it is dangerous if you’re elderly and have pre-existing conditions,” he falsely claimed to interviewer Maureen Dowd. There is ample evidence of healthy young people falling violently ill and, in some cases, dying.
“It absolutely makes sense to have a lockdown if you’re vulnerable,” he said, ignoring growing scientific consensus that asymptomatic spread has been a huge driver of the virus, “but I do not think it makes sense to have a lockdown if you’re not vulnerable.”
Musk also believes he had COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, in January, but stopped short of saying if any tests confirmed this.
On Tesla’s factory floor — which reopened in defiance of local shelter-in-place rules in May, Musk wears a mask, he said. That’s in line with Tesla’s “return to work playbook,” published in May with guidelines for keeping workers safe. Still, multiple employees who returned to work ended up falling ill, according to reports.
Despite the interruptions, Musk’s intent focus on work despite the US’ failure to mitigate the pandemic appears to be paying off. Earlier in July, the company reported a second-quarter profit, christening its first-ever full-year of profitability and helping the stock continue to hit record highs.