Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, tested positive and negative in the same breath of 2 different tests in a single day. The acclaimed tech innovator has made numerous statements about doctors and the government faking or manipulating the number of cases.
Previously, he called the panic over the virus as ‘dumb.’ The ambitious CEO has been at his wit’s end since Tesla’s first quarterly earnings report. He also opposed the idea of working from home and asked the officials to “Give people back their goddamn freedom.”
With the ambiguity of the results, Musk now has all the more reason to call out the healthcare officials regarding the inaccuracy of the results.
It all started when Tesla’s CEO began to experience common cold-like symptoms. With a lot of asymptomatic people testing positive for the deadly virus, it was a wise move to take the test. Antigen tests were performed a total of four times, only two of which came out positive. Musk took these tests on Thursday and is now resorting to Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests.
Later in September, Harvard Health Publishing wrote about their reservations with the antigen tests as a means of detection for coronavirus. These tests are known to give false negatives with a 50% probability. It is the reason why people who resort to antigen tests are advised to go through it at least twice to improve its accuracy. The FDA itself does not prefer antigen tests.
Antigen test must not be confused with the antibody test (another type of coronavirus diagnosis test). The former is a nasal or throat swab test. This test is based on identifying proteins fragments from the virus.
Antibody test, on the other hand, uses your blood sample to check if the antibodies against the virus are being produced by your immune system. The presence of the antibody against the deadly virus confirms its detection. The test can even tell if you have contracted the virus previously. However, timing is the only limitation of this type of test. It can also yield false-negative results if performed too early.
The test Musk mentioned in his tweet is quite controversial, as mentioned earlier. Many doctors have talked about the inaccuracy of the results due to the test’s inability to identify minute amounts of the virus.
The RT-PCR test result Musk is now waiting upon detects the genetic material of the virus. This test also uses nasopharyngeal samples (nasal or throat) and gives out the results within 24 hours. PCR test is comparatively a more accurate diagnostic test for Covid-19. Performing it once is usually enough as the probability of getting false-negative is relatively low.
Known to endorse misinformation about the virus, Musk has called the results as “something bogus.” Little did the overwhelmed CEO know about the already existing skepticism around the same test among the health officials.
Let’s wait till we hear about Musk’s PCR test results then!