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Tesla CEO, Elon Musk took to his usual social media platform to announce he most likely has contracted COVID-19 after getting a series of tests since returning from his trip to Germany. Musk tweeted:
Am getting wildly different results from different labs, but most likely I have a moderate case of covid. My symptoms are that of a minor cold, which is no surprise, since a coronavirus is a type of cold.
This comes after his earlier tweet where on Friday he expressed his skepticism at getting conflicting results from four different tests. And subsequently he sparked off a series of questions related to COVID testing. The EV boss said he that he took a series of rapid antigen tests that produce results after 15 minutes and because they are cheaper, they are probably not as reliable as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. The PCR results take longer, and we are still waiting to hear the official outcome. Luckily, Musk is only experiencing mild symptoms similar to that of a typical cold.
Musk said the rapid antigen tests were from BD, which is probably a reference to Becton Dickinson and Co. who received emergency-use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July. The test is used to identify any traces of the proteins that form an envelope around the COVID-19 virus. The test is carried out by doing a nasal swab in people who have experienced any viral symptoms associated with the disease.
Negative results are presumptive and do not eliminate the probability of an infection. While diagnostic tests are absolute, PCR tests are believed to be the benchmark when it comes to testing and accuracy. The only drawback with the PCR tests is that they are complex and expensive and can take a few days to produce a result.
Musk uses a private jet to travel and last week he visited Berlin to host a number of in-person interviews with applicants who showed an interest in working at Giga factory Berlin. Germany is now seeing another wave of the relentless Coronavirus that is sweeping through Europe. A few months ago, Germany was lauded for its efforts in containing the pandemic by implementing strict lockdowns and rolling out widespread testing. However, the virus has hit the European country with a vengeance showing new cases doubling within the last week.
Tesla, like many other companies, were forced to close their Giga factory in Shanghai and Fremont earlier this year when the pandemic started taking hold. Musk was not happy with Tesla’s production going on hold and took to Twitter to voice his opinion. Tesla even opened a lawsuit against the California state but subsequently dropped legal action and the factories were able to open under safer measures to protect workers from exposure to the virus. Tesla emerged from its shutdown with confidence and in July, it displaced Toyota by taking top spot as the world’s most valuable automaker. And since then, Tesla has been making progress in all its endeavors.
Unfortunately for Musk, he missed out on a remarkable milestone for SpaceX, his space exploration company that has an exclusive contract with NASA. Because the Tesla/SpaceX CEO is likely infected with COVID-19, he had to celebrate from afar on Sunday’s big launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX made history by being the first private company to successfully launch four astronauts to journey to the International Space Station.
After lift-off, the crew reached within nine minutes and commander of the astronaut crew said, “That was one heck of a ride.”