MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle pushes back after Elon Musk calls coronavirus panic ‘dumb’

Chris White, DCNF

(Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

Tech billionaire Elon Musk is getting some pushback after panning what the Tesla CEO considers the stupidity undergirding the panic surrounding the coronavirus.

MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle called out the tech titan for telling his Twitter followers Friday night that the “coronavirus panic is dumb.” She told him in a tweet Saturday that people are panicking because of a lack of “expert leadership.”

“But consider what is driving it. When faced with risks, the best way to manage overreaction is expert leadership providing honest information. The absence of that logically sparks overreaction. So what exactly is dumb?” she added.

Musk explained why he called the panic dumb in a later tweet.

“Virality of C19 is overstated due to conflating diagnosis date with contraction date & over-extrapolating exponential growth, which is never what happens in reality,” he said in a tweet Sunday, noting that people mistakenly believe the rate of spread will continue exponentially.

Musk added: “Fatality rate also greatly overstated. Because there are so few test kits, those who die with respiratory symptoms are tested for C19, but those with minor symptoms are usually not. Prevalence of coronaviruses & other colds in general population is very high!”

U.S. officials are taking the matter seriously, telling people to prepare for the worst if the virus spreads.

California, for one, is monitoring at least 8,400 people who might have come into contact with the virus, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said during a news conference Thursday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Americans on Tuesday to prepare for the “expectation that this might be bad,” with Italy emerging as the focal point of the virus in Europe, while Iran and China seeks ways of fighting the spread as confirmed cases grow.

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