A tweet Elon Musk wrote back in March came back to haunt him when he asked his followers a simple question last Friday.
The business magnate and Tesla CEO asked:
"What can't we predict?"
Klippenstein shared a screenshot of a tweet in which Musk confidently made a prediction about the pandemic back in March.
"Based on current trends, probably close to zero new cases in US too by end of April."
https://t.co/aQdtOniVKj https://t.co/cS4oYXpZFK— Ken Klippenstein (@Ken Klippenstein) 1601077601.0
In context, Musk was responding to a question about whether or not he believed the statistics mentioned in an article about there being no new cases of infection in China on that particular day.
He said, "yes," and followed up with his erroneous prediction about infection cases in the U.S. by April's end.
@PPathole Based on current trends, probably close to zero new cases in US too by end of April— Elon Musk (@Elon Musk) 1584653937.0
Of course, this was proven to be false when the World Health Organization declared the virus outbreak a global pandemic on March 11, 2020 and cases in the U.S. began to surge at the beginning of April.
As of this writing, there have been 205,000 deaths in the U.S. due to the virus.
People seized on the opportunity to troll the SpaceX founder and CEO for his tweet.
@elonmusk Not this https://t.co/lHugx9BcqK— Zack #BLM (2-1) (@Zack #BLM (2-1)) 1601080637.0
@elonmusk Well apparently not very good at predicting the numbers on novel infectious respiratory diseases https://t.co/GzouCGZysF— Stewart Alsop III - Host of Crazy Wisdom Podcast (@Stewart Alsop III - Host of Crazy Wisdom Podcast) 1601057829.0
The name of your next child 🤔 https://t.co/jgz0EBaRed— Harsh Shah (@Harsh Shah) 1601030469.0
@kenklippenstein less than 48 hours apart https://t.co/dhCHzQigpd— beth (@beth) 1601100385.0
@elonmusk How will investors react to Musk's tweet— Antony (@Antony) 1601198890.0
@elonmusk You giving me a tesla— Logan Thorne (@Logan Thorne) 1601216435.0
Musk has nearly 40 million followers on Twitter, and it seems many chose to interpret his inquiry as a challenge instead of a genuine question. He did not see that coming.