COVID-19: Elon Musk tested positive … and negative on antigenic tests

NEW YORK | Tesla’s tumultuous boss Elon Musk announced late Thursday that he had performed four antigen tests to find out if he had COVID-19 and received two positive and two negative results.

• Read also: All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic

“Something extremely bizarre is going on,” he wrote on Twitter. “Have been tested for Covid four times today. Two tests came back negative, two came back positive. Same machine, same test, same nurse, ”he added, specifying that these were antigenic tests.

This form of testing has the advantage of not requiring laboratory analysis and of giving a result in about fifteen minutes.

But antigenic tests are less precise than so-called RT-PCR diagnostic tests: the former identify the proteins of the virus when the latter detect its genetic material.

Mr. Musk explains on his Twitter account that he has experienced the usual symptoms of a cold – mild sniffles, cough and a slight fever. He plans to do RT-PCR tests at another laboratory, the results of which should arrive “in about 24 hours.”

To one internet user who wondered if this could explain the current spike in COVID-19 cases in the United States, the official simply replied, “If it happens to me, it must happen to others.”

Known for his flashy statements, Mr Musk split in mid-March with a tweet saying: “Based on current trends, (we will) probably have close to zero new cases also in the United States by the end of April”.

He had subsequently spoken out several times in the spring against measures intended to limit the pandemic, going so far as to qualify as “fascist” the confinement which had led to the temporary closure of its plant in California.

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