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Elon Musk is dangerously wrong about the novel coronavirus

马斯克对新冠状病毒的看法是错误的!



For months, Elon Musk has been spreading doubt, confusion, and outright misinformation about the deadliest pandemic of our time.

几个月来,马斯克一直在散布关于我们这个时代最致命的流行病的怀疑、困惑和彻头彻尾的错误信息。

Since the outbreak began, he’s promoted studies that suggest doctors are inflating case numbers for financial reasons, or that the vast majority of fatalities in Italy are due to other causes. He promoted a widely discredited paper on the benefits of chloroquine, which was debunked so quickly that both Twitter and Google Docs refused to host it. In another instance, he compared the outbreak to the common cold. On March 6th, he said simply “the coronavirus panic is dumb.” On March 14th, he said the “danger of panic still far exceeds danger of corona,” as part of a larger thread promoting chloroquine as an effective treatment. On March 19th, he predicted that the US would see close to zero new cases by the end of April. (The US is currently registering more than 25,000 new cases each day, a number itself limited by testing capacity.)

自从疫情爆发以来,他推动了一些研究,他的这些“研究”表明,医生出于经济原因夸大病例数量;或者就是宣称意大利绝大多数死亡病例是由其他原因造成的。他推广了一篇广受质疑的关于氯喹益处的论文(译注:氯喹就是特朗普曾强推的“灵药”),但该论文被火速揭穿,以至于推特和谷歌文档都拒绝刊登。在另一个例子中,他把这次爆发比作普通感冒。在3月6日,他简单地说句“冠状病毒恐慌是愚蠢的。”在3月14日,他又说“恐慌的危险仍然远远超过了冠状病毒本身”,这是一个更大的局的一部分,以推广氯喹作为一种有效治疗药物。3月19日,他预测美国将在4月底达到接近零的新增病例。(而美国目前每天登记的新病例超过25000个,且这一数字本身还受到了测试能力的限制。)

Musk has not entirely dismissed the dangers of the outbreak, recommending that people stay home while displaying symptoms and that the elderly self-isolate. But those measures are far weaker than the prevailing public health guidance, and the overall picture is clear. In every discussion, Musk has taken the side doubting the threat posed by the novel coronavirus and applauded the lifting of restrictions.

不过马斯克并没有完全否定疫情的危险性,他建议人们在出现症状时呆在家里,让老人自我隔离。但这些措施要远远弱于现行的公共卫生指导,总体情况是清楚的。在每一次讨论中,马斯克都对新型冠状病毒构成的威胁表示怀疑,并对取消限制表示赞赏。

Most recently, Musk’s vigorous skepticism has led him to promote medical misinformation. On Sunday, he shared a briefing by two Bakersfield doctors who argued that all distancing restrictions should be lifted immediately, claiming that the ongoing outbreak is no worse than a common case of influenza. The claims were quickly and emphatically condemned by a range of medical groups, and YouTube has since removed the video for violating its community guidelines. But Musk has not dexed his tweet, which reads, “doctors make good points.”



This skepticism has also directly impacted Musk’s stewardship of Tesla. The company’s Fremont factory is subject to an ongoing public health closure from Alameda County, but Tesla has defied that order twice: first, keeping the factory open for five days after the order was issued, then calling certain employees back to the factory last week. (The company eventually backed down on the second case.) Thus far, the company has avoided any serious repercussions for skirting the public health rules, but there’s no guarantee that luck will hold. It’s easy to imagine a regulatory backlash, or worse, an outbreak among factory workers. Musk is playing an incredibly risky game — and after reading his tweets, it’s hard to believe he has a clear-eyed sense of those risks.

这种怀疑也直接影响了马斯克对特斯拉的管理。该公司的弗里蒙特工厂正在处于关闭之中(由于Alameda县的公共卫生政策),但特斯拉两次违抗这一命令。首先,在公共卫生命令发布后,工厂继续营业了五天;然后在上周,特斯拉将某些员工召回了工厂。(该公司最终放弃了召回员工的做法),到目前为止,该公司避免了违反公共卫生规则的严重后果,但不能保证这种运气会持续下去。我们很容易想象到监管部门的强烈反应,或者更糟的是,疫情在工厂工人中的爆发。马斯克正在玩一个极其冒险的游戏,在阅读了他的推文之后,很难相信他对这些风险有清醒的认识。

Musk has a combative relationship with his critics — both in the press and in the business world. He’s behaved recklessly in the past and gotten away relatively clean, whether it was his abortive bid to take Tesla private or bizarre feud with a rescue worker in Thailand. But there is more at stake this time, and Musk’s bizarre Twitter habits are more troubling. We desperately need clear-headed guidance from as many corners as possible. And every time Musk spreads misinformation, the hard task of recovery gets a little harder.

马斯克与批评他的人互相口诛笔伐,无论是在新闻界和商界都不乏对马斯克的批评人士,马斯克的行为在过去非常的鲁莽,但每次都能相对清白的置身事外。无论是特斯拉私有化计划流产、还是与泰国一名救援人员的离奇恩怨。但这一次他的行为更加危险,马斯克怪异的发推特的习惯更加令人不安,我们迫切需要从尽可能多的角度得到清醒的疫情指导,而每次马斯克却在散布错误信息,复工的艰巨任务也变得更加艰巨了。