On the eve of SpaceX’s second manned launch, CEO Elon Musk says he has tested positive and negative for COVID-19 twice each — all on the same day.
Musk’s company SpaceX is expected to launch its second manned craft from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Saturday, but the head of the company may not be able to participate in the event, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Musk tweeted Friday just after midnight that he had been given four rapid tests for COVID-19 on Thursday and two had come back positive while the other two were negative. (RELATED: Teacher Dies Just 3 Days After Contracting COVID)
Something extremely bogus is going on. Was tested for covid four times today. Two tests came back negative, two came back positive. Same machine, same test, same nurse. Rapid antigen test from BD.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 13, 2020
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine reportedly said at a press conference that NASA policy requires anyone who tests positive to immediately quarantine, and that he expects SpaceX to do the proper contact tracing on their end. Musk was present at Launch Control inside Kennedy Space Center in May for his company’s first crew launch, but it is currently unclear whether the COVID-19 test results will change his involvement in Saturday’s event.
The tech magnate clarified that he would be receiving results from two additional, more accurate coronavirus tests within 24 hours. Rapid tests have a higher false-positive rate than the roughly 85% accurate PCR tests, but are still considered to be “highly accurate” according to the FDA. (RELATED: Utah Gov. Gary Herbert Orders Mask Mandate, New Restrictions As COVID Cases Spike)
Musk seemed to express skepticism about the validity of the tests in subsequent tweets. It’s not the first time Musk has promoted theories about the virus that contradict expert medical consensus, either. In April, he promoted a theory that medical professionals are inflating coronavirus case numbers due to financial incentives.
Four astronauts are expected to take the SpaceX rocket to the International Space Station Saturday, the AP reported. The launch comes after a successful test flight in May.