Oh Christ, it’s this guy again.
Elon Musk has long stopped caring about things like facts, good public relations, or not inciting conspiratorial panic among his needlessly loyal fandom. He’s quickly become a self-parody, the kind of caricature of a Silicon Valley chump that makes Mike Judge’s job much harder than it needs to be. Dare I say it, he’s close to full Kanye. Musk has embraced his new status as a How Do You Do Fellow Kids internet troll, a cross between an extended dad joke and a 4Chan board. Now, because of course he has, Musk has decided to drum up further fears about the literal pandemic we’re living through.
This is nothing new for him, alas. He’s never taken the coronavirus all that seriously. Way back in March, Musk ordered Tesla factory workers in Freemont, California, to report to work despite a shelter in place order from the local sheriff’s office. He also declared that he would start making ventilators if there is a shortage’, which there certainly was, but hey, action is for losers, right?
Now, he’s spreading nonsense about how COVID-19 testing works.
He claims that he ‘tested for covid four times’ in one day, and that the results were divided. He said that ‘something extremely bogus is going on.’ Science Twitter quickly jumped to its feet, with Emma Bell Ph.D quickly correcting him and offering one of the great slams of the year.
Rapid antigen tests trade sensitivity for speed. They return a result in <30 minutes, but can only detect COVID-19 when you're absolutely riddled with it. What's bogus is that Space Karen didn't read up on the test before complaining to his millions of followers. pic.twitter.com/a1Snfpm03h— Emma Bell PhD (@emmabell42) November 14, 2020
‘Space Karen.’ Hot damn, that’s good.
Bell offered a more detailed explanation as to why Musk was wrong. They also wrote a longer piece on Medium that went into the issue further:
This graphs shows the probability of COVID-19 detection for the available tests. Rapid antigen tests (orange) only give low false negative results for a couple of days. Space Karen's results (2 neg, followed by 2 pos later that day) are completely in line with this. pic.twitter.com/hnX9J1m7Lk— Emma Bell PhD (@emmabell42) November 14, 2020
It’s no surprise to me that Musk has no idea how these things work. Like many men who are good at one thing, he seems to believe that gives him authority over all the things. The internet came out a-swinging at Space Karen and it was, not gonna lie, pretty cathartic.
He didn't like the result of his test and wanted to speak to the manager. pic.twitter.com/zWmx5TDWfN— Nikita Leb (Don't jab it, Spray it) (@NickytaLeb) November 16, 2020
Live footage of me clicking to see why "Space Karen" is trending: pic.twitter.com/bzSPtk0j4v— TimOS 3.4 Amazon FC Ambassador (United Ireland) (@gothytim) November 16, 2020
Space Karen’s genius prediction. pic.twitter.com/L0bivEaS9l— Scott (@bassdubware) November 16, 2020
They’ve dubbed mr. musk “space Karen” 😭😭😭😩😩😩😩😩 pic.twitter.com/OxXmhoqyef— daby (@tia_daby) November 16, 2020
Some people call him the Space Karen.— Marc (@Ghostthatwalks9) November 16, 2020
Some call him discount Tony Stark.
Johnny Depp calls him Elon Mollusc
Because he thought he slept with his wife.
Be he's a Joker, he play poker, he's a radio show toker……..
Watching the launch at his home, bitching about his COVID that he didn’t believe in. Can we launch Space Karen and leave him up there? https://t.co/kwCMQqhW1C— Lee Santos (@TxHopsfarmer) November 16, 2020
Musk’s devotees were obviously out in full force taking offense to this, but I was laughing too hard at ‘Space Karen’ to care.
Header Image Source: Getty Images.