Elon Musk says he’s tested positive and negative for COVID-19 twice each within the past day, claiming that ‘something bogus is going on’.
Posting on Twitter, the Tesla and SpaceX founder wrote, ‘Was tested for covid four times today. Two tests came back negative, two came back positive. Same machine, same test, same nurse.’ He also said that he was experiencing ‘symptoms of a typical cold’.
Musk has been a vocal sceptic of the COVID-19 pandemic, previously stating – without evidence – that the scale of the pandemic in the United States has been overblown. He has previously opposed tougher measures to control the spread of the virus, most notably refusing to shut down Tesla’s California gigafactory while the state was under a stay at home order.
Inaccurate results from rapid coronavirus tests do occur, but situations like the one Musk describes are rare and not an indication of any wider issue with the testing system.
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
The SpaceX owner is currently in Florida ahead of the planned Crew Dragon launch, which is scheduled to lift off at 7.49pm EST tomorrow, November 14. A confirmed positive test result would likely mean Musk would be unable to attend the historic launch, which marks the first time a commercial space company has flown a crewed mission to the International Space Station.
The test fiasco caps off a disappointing day for Musk, who earlier confirmed that SpaceX’s Starship SN8 prototype experienced significant malfunctions during testing earlier in the day.
Thursday, November 12, marked the final day of a three-day window in which it was speculated the the SN8 prototype could conduct Starship’s first ever high-altitude test flight. SpaceX conducted a static test fire of the rocket’s engines on Wednesday, but Musk confirmed last night that the vehicle was leaking what appeared to be sparks of liquid metal due to a pneumatic failure, preventing the full test flight from going ahead.
We lost vehicle pneumatics. Reason unknown at present. Liquid oxygen header tank pressure is rising. Hopefully triggers burst disk to relieve pressure, otherwise it’s going to pop the cork.
Musk later confirmed that the SN8 prototype ‘seems to be ok.’
Following the SN8 test attention will now turn to the Crew Dragon launch on Saturday, which will see a full crewed mission launched from US soil for the first time in almost a decade.
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