Elon Musk would like to speak with the coronavirus test leader.
This weekend, the CEO of SpaceX presented another problematic topic on Twitter, this time with a series of uninformed statements about the accuracy of COVID-19 diagnostic tests. The billionaire doubted how it was possible that he had received two negative and two positive results from four rapid antigen tests.
Enter the postdoctoral researcher Emma Bell, who specializes in “bioinformatics”, which mainly analyzes biological data. Bell wrote a screenshot of Musk on Twitter, explained why he was so deluded, and then carelessly dropped the devastating nickname of the year: Space Karen.
Rapid antigen tests trade in speed sensitivity. They return a result after <30 minutes, but can only detect COVID-1[ads1]9 when you are absolutely overwhelmed with it. The fake is that Space Karen didn't read the test before complaining to its millions of followers. pic.twitter.com/a1Snfpm03h
– Dr. Emma Bell (@ emmabell42) November 14, 2020
Bell’s tweet has gone viral, and it’s easy to see why: The more you think about it, the more Musk is Karen’s total space.
Karens thinks and acts in his own interest, without thinking about how calling the cops, complaining to the manager, or casting doubt on the validity of science can affect others. As Bell points out, it’s great for Karen to call “something fishy” to millions of followers if your personal experience is enough information to call into question scientists’ best practices.
So yes, this is Elon. Plus space!
In this case, Musk mistakenly realized that the COVID-19 fast and dirty test option was not the most accurate. Many Twitter users broke this for Musk, and Bell even wrote a useful Medium post with a more in-depth explanation, noting:
Rapid antigen tests work by detecting a protein found on the surface of the virus. The higher the number of viral particles in your body, the more likely you are to detect it. The number of virus particles peaks with the onset of symptoms. In the days, even hours, on both sides of the peak viral load, the probability of a false negative result increases. COVID-19 is 2 days before the onset of symptoms. In this way, a rapid antigen test can return a false negative result when the infected person needs to be isolated the most.
Bell may not have actually coined the term Space Karen, but they certainly used it with aplomb. One Twitter user took his Twitter account from an already suspended account, but we were unable to confirm this.
This is not the first time Musk has spread disinformation about COVID-19. After repeatedly downplaying the threat of coronavirus, he wrote on Twitter that the children were “essentially immunized.” This is not true.
Musk’s belief in his ability to know everything is the least regret. But at least we will always have Space Karen.
I always thought the phrase “win the internet” was a little silly, but that was before anyone mentioned Elton Musk as Space Karen.
– cluedont (@cluedont) 16 November 2020