Last week, Elon Musk made headlines by his “The coronavirus panic is dumb” tweet. Now, the genius entrepreneur sent a memo to SpaceX employees stating that they are more likely to die from a car crash than COVID-19.
With more than 137,000 cases worldwide, the World Health Organization declared Coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. Meanwhile, Musk suggests that Coronavirus is “not within the top 100 health risks in the United States.” Interestingly, US President Donald Trump has declared an emergency in the country to tackle the pandemic more efficiently.
As reported by BuzzFeed, Musk compared car accidents with an illness like COVID-19 and even went on to throw in numbers to support his statement. “There are about 36 thousand automotive deaths per year [sic], as compared to 36 so far this year for C19,” said Musk.
Elon Musk is being criticized for taking the severity of Coronavirus lightly. Health officials who talked to BuzzFeed said that it doesn’t even make sense to compare car accidents with Coronavirus outbreak.
“This virus is not containable, and while most people do well with it, there is a proportion that doesn’t. People may end up dying from this, and we should be focused on trying to limit people’s exposure,” said Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security to BuzzFeed.
On one side, automotive industries like Ford and General Motors have instructed non-factory employees to work from home. Then, there are Tesla and SpaceX employees who are still working at the company’s Hawthorne, California headquarters.
However, Elon Musk did say in his email that he cares “very much” about his employees’ wellbeing. He encouraged his employees to stay home and take care of themselves if they’re feeling ill.