Elon Musk tests positive and negative for Covid on same day
Billionaire Elon Musk has said he’s tested both positive and negative for coronavirus on the same day.
The Tesla boss tweeted ‘something extremely bogus is going on’ after taking four rapid tests on Friday. Two came back negative and two came back positive.
He’s now awaiting the results of a more definitive lab test which are more accurate but take longer to process.
Mr Musk – who has been a critic of lockdown measures – said each test had been administered by the same nurse and used the same machine.
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He’d been feeling unwell the past few days — with sniffles, a cough and low fever — but the symptoms had cleared by yesterday.
Questions have previously been raised about the accuracy of the rapid tests which only take 15 minutes to show a result and are seen as a vital part of the UK’s mass testing programme.
Some tests have been shown to be only around 50% accurate in detecting positive cases.
No test is 100% accurate but senior Government figures have previously said the the ‘false positive’ rate overall is less than 1%, meaning the likelihood of getting an inaccurate result is very small.
Mr Musk’s health issues have added to problems trying to launch his second SpaceX flight. High winds and weather conditions in the wake of tropical storm Eta on Friday forced the team to postpone the flight until Sunday.
It would have been the second time SpaceX launched astronauts to the International Space Station after being commissioned by NASA who retired their own shuttle fleet in 2011.
It’s not known if Mr Musk will be allowed at the launching site at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, even if later tests come back negative.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said anyone testing positive for Covid-19 must quarantine under NASA policy and remain isolated.
Officials said contact tracing by SpaceX found no link between Mr Musk and any personnel in close contact with the four astronauts, who remain cleared for flight.
Norm Knight, a deputy manager at NASA, said: ‘No one’s above this access. It doesn’t matter if you’re Elon Musk or (NASA administrator) Jim Bridenstine.
‘If you have not met those protocols, or if any of those protocols have been compromised, then we’re not going to let you near the crew.’
NASA and SpaceX representatives wouldn’t say where Musk was Friday, although officials confirmed he was not at Kennedy.
His company is based in Southern California, where he lives. He was inside Kennedy’s Launch Control last May for SpaceX’s first astronaut flight.
Four astronauts — three Americans and one Japanese — are scheduled to rocket to the International Space Station on Sunday night.
They are going up for a full space station stay of five to six months. They will be replaced in the spring by yet another crew launched by SpaceX.
MORE: What is a ‘false positive’ Covid test result?
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