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Elon Musk blasts accuracy of COVID-19 tests, demands retests for 'ridiculous' number of false positives


Strong stance

Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says anyone who has tested positive for coronavirus should get a second opinion — because he believes the number of false positives is outrageous.

What are the details?

In a Monday Twitter statement, Musk — who has been rather outspoken against mandatory quarantine and lockdown measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic — railed against what he suggested were apparently faulty COVID-19 tests.

The billionaire tech mogul tweeted, "There are a ridiculous number of false positives C19 tests, in some cases ~50%. False positives scale linearly with # of tests."

"This," he continued, "is a big part of why C19 positive tests are going up while hospitalizations and mortality are declining. Anyone who tests positive should retest."

Musk made the remarks in response to a GeekWire article about the number of steadily climbing COVID-19 cases in Washington state.

What else?

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that confirmed COVID-19 cases could be 10 times higher than originally reported.

In a news briefing, CDC Director Robert Redfield said, "This virus causes so much asymptomatic infection. We probably recognized about 10% of the outbreak."

Redfield said that from his standpoint, anywhere between 5% and 8% of the world's population has become infected with the deadly virus.

"This outbreak is not over," he warned during the briefing, where he also encouraged maximum social distancing. "This pandemic is not over. The most powerful tool that we have, powerful weapon, is social distancing. We have responsibility to practice the social mitigation strategies to protect the vulnerable, to protect the elderly."

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University estimate that there have been at least 10,195,798 confirmed COVID-19 infections across the globe and at least 502,947 deaths attributed to the deadly virus.

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