Elon Musk Critical of Coronavirus Panic, Draws Ire

Elon Musk Critical of Coronavirus Panic, Draws Ire

Elon Musk has never been one to mince words, and today proved to be no different.

The well-known and meme-friendly CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, came out to Twitter today to give his opinion on the current frenzy that has overtaken the headlines – and the world – since the intial outbreak of COVID-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus. And well, his thoughts were pretty succinct:


Naturally, his tweet was shared and discussed immediately. In less than two hours, the message had been re-tweeted 65,700 and liked 300,000. It was no surprise that someone as influential as Musk would receive such attention after tweeting about the issue, however, many followers criticized him for downplaying the severity of the situation. But others are defending the icon, claiming that his criticism was of the panic over the virus, not the seriousness of the virus itself.

Musk has gotten himself into trouble through social media several times before – calling the British caver, Vernon Unsworth, a “pedo-guy” which prompted a defamation case to be filed against him – and he could not have chosen a touchier, subject to tackle this time.

COVID-19 has been dominating headlines as it continues to spread around the world, with several people dying from the it. It has begun to crop up around the U.S., with Indiana announcing their first case today.

Musk did not give reasons or elaborate on what he meant by “panic”, but regardless, there were still some pointed criticisms aimed his way. One user claimed the post was “irresponsible” and calling Musk a “jerk.”


Those who have come to his defense have cited the fact that the panic over the virus is overblown, and that the tweet was not aimed at the virus itself, with one follower saying, “‘m getting a huge kick out of everyone overreacting to this tweet because they can’t comprehend a simple sentence.”


The tweet also comes just hours after the huge South by Southwest festival was cancelled over coronavirus concerns. Many areas have been hit hard with the virus, including Seattle and New York.

What do you think? Was Musk out of line to tweet out this comment? Or was his criticism of the panic a valid one? Perhaps it was the right sentiment shared at the wrong time? Let us know in the comments!