Elon Musk Got Cold Symptoms and Took Four COVID Tests, but Questions 'Bogus' Results

Tesla boss Elon Musk has questioned the effectiveness of COVID-19 testing after receiving a series of opposing results.

The billionaire technologist and entrepreneur tweeted that "something extremely bogus is going on" with the procedure after he was tested for the disease a total of four times, with two coming back negative and two coming back positive.

According to Musk, who said he was showing symptoms of a typical cold, the testing was conducted via the same machine with the same nurse. He took rapid antigen tests from Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD).

He said: "If it's happening to me, it's happening to others. I'm getting PCR [polymerase chain reaction] tests from separate labs. Results will take about 24 hours."

Something extremely bogus is going on. Was tested for covid four times today. Two tests came back negative, two came back positive. Same machine, same test, same nurse. Rapid antigen test from BD.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 13, 2020

Symptoms of a typical cold. Nothing unusual so far.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 13, 2020

Due to the wait, it still remains unclear if the Tesla and SpaceX boss has contracted the disease, a fact he appeared to acknowledge himself by responding to a meme:


— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 13, 2020

PCR testing detects nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2 in respiratory areas of patients with or without symptoms, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said.

While some users the suggested errors could be linked to the spike in cases in the U.S., others said, without evidence, the reason could be financial. Reacting to a comment noting how revenues from testing are "likely not bogus." Musk replied: "Exactly."

Not everyone on the social network agreed, with multiple users blasting Musk's claims as irresponsible and clarifying there is "zero profit" made from COVID-19 testing.

Just say what you mean you massive coward. If you’re accusing doctors of intentionally faking positive results for money say that. Sounds stupid when put that way, doesn’t it?

— Ryan K. Rigney (@RKRigney) November 13, 2020

There is zero profit for testing. My colleagues & I on front lines of covid caring 4 patients. We work hard see 70-80 patients a day& there is no charge for covid.The only profit is ensuring a safer community & maybe for dr scholls pads for throbbing aching feet at end of the day

— Dr Janette Nesheiwat (@DoctorJanette) November 13, 2020

There are currently more recorded cases of COVID-19 across the U.S. than any other country in the world. The respiratory disease, caused by a novel coronavirus, has now infected more than 10 million residents, and is tied to over 240,000 U.S. deaths.

Globally, the disease has spread to more than 51 million people and has caused over 1.2 million deaths.

As the disease circulated around the world, Musk repeatedly voiced skepticism about COVID-19. He criticized nationwide lockdowns in place to help limit the spread of the disease after they impacted production taking place inside his California factory.

"To say that they cannot leave their house and they will be arrested if they do... this is fascist. This is not democratic. This is not freedom. Give people back their goddamn freedom," Musk said during a company earnings call in late April.

In June, the Tesla boss urged anyone who had tested positive for the disease to have a second examination due to what he called a "ridiculous number" of false positives. As far back as March, Musk claimed that panic around the virus was "dumb."

In a public prediction that turned out to be so incredibly wrong, Musk also said in March that based on the trends at the time, there would be "probably close to zero" new cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. by the end of April. For now, cases continue to surge.

Elon Musk
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk leaves the Westhafen Event & Convention Center after attending the CDU/CSU faction meeting on September 2, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. Germany. Filip Singer-Pool/Getty