Elon Musk: We Need Better Data on Coronavirus Deaths


3 years ago



Elon Musk

3 appearances

Elon Musk is a business magnate, designer, and engineer. His portfolio of businesses include Tesla, Inc., SpaceX, Neuralink, and many others.


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Well, I think we're rapidly moving towards opening up the country. It's going to happen extremely fast over the next few weeks. So, yeah. Something that would be helpful just to add from an informational level is when reporting sort of COVID cases to separate out, diagnosed with COVID versus had COVID-like symptoms. Yes. Because the list of symptoms that could be COVID at this point is like a mile long. So it's like hard to, if you're ill at all, it's like it could be COVID. So just to give you better information, definitely diagnosed with COVID or had COVID-like symptoms. We're conflating those two. So it looks bigger than it is. Then if somebody dies, is COVID a primary cause of the death or not? I mean, if somebody has COVID, gets eaten by a shark, we find their arm. Their arm has COVID. It's going to get recorded as a COVID death. Is that real? Not that bad, but heart attacks, strokes, cancer. If you get hit by a bus, go to the hospital and die and they find that you have COVID, you will be recorded as a COVID death. Why would they do that though? Well, right now, the road to hell is paid with good intentions. I mean, it's mostly paid with bad intentions, but there is some good intentions having signs in there too. And the stimulus bill that was intended to help with the hospitals that were being overrun with COVID patients created an incentive to record something as COVID that is difficult to say no to, especially if your hospital is going bankrupt for lack of other patients. So the hospitals are in a bind right now. There's a bunch of hospitals, they're following doctors, as you were mentioning. If your hospital is half full, it's hard to make ends meet. So now you've got like, you know, if I just check this box, I get $8,000, put them on a ventilator for five minutes, I get $39,000. Or I got to fire some doctors. So this is a tough moral quandary. What you can do? That's the situation we have. What's the way out of this? What do you think is like, if you had the President's ear or if people wanted to just listen to you openly, what do you think is the way out of this? Let's clear up the data. Clear up the data. So like I said, something should be recorded as COVID only if it is somebody that's been tested, has received a positive COVID test, not if they simply have symptoms, like 100 symptoms. And then if it is a COVID death, it must be separated. Was COVID a primary reason for death or did they also have stage three cancer, heart disease, emphysema and gut hit by a bus and had COVID? Yeah, I've read all this stuff about that, about them diagnosing people as a COVID death despite other variables. This is not a question. This is what is occurring. And where are you reading this from? Where are you getting this from? The public health officials have literally said this. This is not a question mark. But this is unprecedented, right? Like if someone had the flu but also had a heart attack, they would assume that that person died of a heart attack. Yes. So this is unprecedented. Is this because this is such a popular, I don't want to use that word the wrong way, but that's what I mean, a popular subject and financial incentives? Yes. And like I said, this is not some sort of moral indictment of sort of hospital administrators. It's just they're in a tough spot here. They actually don't have enough patients to pay everyone without furloughing doctors and firing staff and potentially going bankrupt. So then they're like, okay, well, the stimulus bill says if we get all this money, if they have a COVID death, I'm like, okay, they coughed before they died. In fact, they're not even diagnosed as COVID. They simply, if you had weakness, a cough, a shortness of breath. Frankly, I'm not sure how you die without those things. No. Yeah. Right. There's so many different things that you could attribute to COVID too. There's so many symptoms. There's diarrhea, headaches, dehydration, cough. Yes. But to be clear, you don't even need to have gotten a COVID diagnosis. You simply need to have had one of many symptoms and then have died for some reason and it's COVID. So then it makes the death count look very high. And then we're then stuck in a bind because it looks like the death count's super high and not going down like it should be. And now, so then we should keep whatever, keep the shelter in place stuff there and keep people in their home, confine people to their homes. So we need to get break out of this. We're stuck in a loop. And I think the way to break out of this loop is to have clarity of information. Have information will certainly help, but altering perceptions, public perception from people that are basically in a panic. There's a lot of essentially, well, at least a month ago, we're clearly in a panic. I mean, right where, you know, when you look around April 5th, April 6th, people were really freaking out. But here we are, May and May, people are relaxing a little bit. Yes. They're realizing like, hey, I actually know a couple of people that got it. It was just a cough. And I know some people that got it where nothing happened. I know a lot of people who got it. I know zero people who died. I mean, I know a lot of people who got it. It's not what we feared. We feared something much worse. That's correct. So the adjustment's difficult to make. So you said, first of all, we need real data. Just parse out the data. Don't lump it all together. No. If you give people just parse out the data better, clearer information about, like I said, was this an actual COVID diagnosis? Or was it a... Did they get the test? And the test came back positive? Or do they just have some symptoms? Just parse those two out. And then parse out just if somebody died, did they die? Did they even have a COVID test? Or did they just have one of many symptoms? Like, how do you die without weakness? I don't know. It's impossible, basically. Yeah. That's a good point. If you're going to die, you're going to have shortness of breath, weakness, and you might cough a little. So was it quantified? Was it? Yeah. That person, did they actually have a COVID test? And the test came back positive. And then if they died, did they die where COVID was? It didn't have to be the main course, but it was a significant contributor to their death. Or was it not a significant contributor to their death? It's not as simple as just because you had COVID, COVID killed you. Is it definitely not? Right. Yeah. I mean, people die all the time. They have flu and other colds. We don't say that they died of those flu and other colds. Well, that's what's so weird about this. It's so popular. And I use that word in a weird way, but it's so popular that we've kind of forgotten. People die pneumonia every day. People die of the flu didn't take a break. Oh, COVID's got this. I'm going to sit this one out. I'm going to be on the bench. I'm going to wait until COVID's done before I jump back into the game of killing people. No, the flu's still here killing people. I mean, every year in the world, several hundred thousand people die directly of the flu. Yeah. Not tangentially. Right. Not every... 61,000 in this country last year. Yeah. And we're only 5% of the world. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.