Probably not. Maybe. Possibly. Hmmmmmmmmm.
Hello internet, are you ready for some good ol’ fashioned internet detective work?
No, you aren’t in 2008, you’re in 2020—Possibly in your house, wearing sweatpants, and on the verge of your third mental breakdown this week!
That’s right bay-bee, Elon Musk just made this tweet:
FREE AMERICA NOW— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 29, 2020
And now the entire internet is shitting on him.
However, I’m here to get to the bottom of things (aka: convolute everything by playing the devil’s advocate and being extremely nitpicky).
Why? Because I’m an evil person. Also, because I don’t just believe people blindly, especially the media. Also-also, I just finished listening to Elon Musk talk on Lex Friedman’s podcast and then I immediately saw his tweet, and I was like, “no fuckin’ way bro”.
Okay, so what’s Elon’s evil supervillain backstory?
Glad you asked. Elon has been on a roll lately.
He recently took a fat shit on Coronavirus panic-buyers with this tweet:
The coronavirus panic is dumb— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 6, 2020
He got immediate backlash from that.
He also donated BiPaP machines to hospitals.
We have extra FDA-approved ventilators. Will ship to hospitals worldwide within Tesla delivery regions. Device & shipping cost are free. Only requirement is that the vents are needed immediately for patients, not stored in a warehouse. Please me or @Tesla know.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 31, 2020
He got immediate backlash from that.
Let’s dissect both of those events real quick before we move onto answering the big question: Is Elon a crazy anti-lockdown protestor?
Either way, this shitstorm is great because Tesla stock will fall and that means you should buy (that’s how it works, right?)
The CNN-BiPAP Supervillain Arc
This one is pretty one-sided and not that hard to dissect, so I’ll spend just a tiny bit of time on this.
Elon promised to send ventilators to some hospitals, then he sent some BiPAP machines.
CNN accused Elon of not sending jack shit, inviting a bunch of hospitals to tweet about how they received supplies from Tesla. Oof.
So then CNN made a new article and linked to the new article at the bottom of the incorrect article. Interesting choice.
The new article slammed Elon for sending BiPAP machines instead of the ventilators he promised.
Many other publications have followed suit by describing Elon’s contribution as “ventilators” (quotes included) rather than what they actually are, BiPAP machines. Because narrative.
If you weren’t aware (hint: none of us were aware), BiPAP machines can be converted into ventilators “within minutes”. Additionally, there is a growing amount of scientists who don’t think shoving pipes down people’s throats is a good idea for treating the Coronavirus.
BiPAP machines still feed people high amounts of oxygen, but without the shoving-a-pipe-down-your-throat part. They’re non-invasive and give you the oxygen through a mask.
Of course, people who have been infected for a long time can’t use BiPAP and still need to go on ventilators.
Articles have been framing Elon’s BiPAP machines as lazy, low-power, incomplete ventilators when that’s just not the case. Turning a BiPAP machine into a ventilator sounds like some MacGyver shit, but it’s a legitimate thing you can do—And you should do it if your hospital is, you know, overrun with Coronavirus patients.
So yeah, the crazy evil supervillain character arc isn’t actually as true as you’d like it to be. Elon’s biggest mistake, I think, is his wrong use of terminology.
His decision to just say “ventilators” instead of explaining what a BiPAP machine was what gave media outlets a leeway to skew things—And ultimately what led to this particular shitstorm.
The Crazy Anti-Lockdown Protestor Character Arc
Not gonna lie, we didn’t expect this one.
Nah, jk. This one has been coming. Elon has been sharing the growing amount of scientific evidence that the Coronavirus may actually be much less deadly than we thought.
This string of retweets pretty much explains his beliefs:
2/ He now says both that the U.K. should have enough ICU beds and that the coronavirus will probably kill under 20,000 people in the U.K. – more than 1/2 of whom would have died by the end of the year in any case bc they were so old and sick.— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) March 26, 2020
3/ Essentially, what has happened is that estimates of the viruses transmissibility have increased – which implies that many more people have already gotten it than we realize – which in turn implies it is less dangerous.— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) March 26, 2020
So, if we adopt Elon’s beliefs (just for the sake of understanding what led him to make the explosive, bombastic “FREE AMERICA NOW”), we can see that he didn’t just scroll through Facebook for too long, he actually Googled his shit.
So, is Elon Musk on par with these guys?—
Elon is much more rational and fears that Coronavirus panic will result in nastier shit happening. Nastier than what? Nastier than the Coronavirus.
That said, danger of panic still far exceeds danger of corona imo. If we over-allocate medical resources to corona, it will come at expense of treating other illnesses. Track graph at bottom of this page: https://t.co/7nWKjiZyFn— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 17, 2020
The Coronavirus panic is dumb.
Wait, so is Elon Musk a crazy anti-lockdown protestor?
To conclude this round of internet detective-ness:
No. He’s a rational anti-lockdown protestor. A very rare specimen.
It’s just unfortunate that everyone likes shitting on him, so he gets lumped in with the crazies.
I recommend you read his tweets instead of the articles that talk about those tweets (most of the time, the primary source is an impossible-to-read locked-behind-a-paywall fringe-science study, this is not one of those times.)
I’ve never written a post like this before, so I don’t know how the reception will be. Will I receive death threats? Who knows?
Since this is a super-sensitive and current topic, I’d like to remind you to send all dissent to my email: neotheamazingdude[at]enchoseon.com.
If I got something horribly wrong, tell me. I’ll fix it—I’m not CNN.