Tesla's CEO continues to downplay the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dangerous Platform

As the coronavirus pandemic rages on in the U.S., Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk continues to downplay the very real danger it poses.

As recently as Tuesday, Elon Musk tweeted inaccurate claims that official reports were exaggerating the COVID-19 death toll. But, as Business Insider reports, the opposite is likely true: The over 127,400 people officially killed by the disease in the U.S. is, if anything, likely an underrepresentation of how many people have actually died from COVID-19.

Wrong Direction

In reality, COVID-19 has probably killed more Americans than we know about thanks to widespread test unavailability and overwhelmed healthcare systems. A new study, first spotted by Gizmodo, suggests that some 27,000 additional coronavirus-related deaths went uncounted in the U.S. — and that's just as of late May. In the last month, that number would likely have climbed even higher.

For Musk, a respected business and engineering magnate, to use his tremendous platform and influence to claim that the opposite is happening — that the coronavirus is less dangerous than it really is — is irresponsible at best, and dangerous at worst.

Looming Disaster

Earlier this year, Musk refused to shut down Tesla's manufacturing operation until law enforcement got involved, and defied court orders by re-opening early, Business Insider reports.

Meanwhile, Tesla workers tell Observer that the plant's lax coronavirus protocols make it a disaster waiting to happen.

"If Tesla truly was making ventilators, I would go back in a second.” Carlos Gabriel, who was fired for refusing to return to the plant, told Observer. "But to make electric cars, that's only making Elon Musk rich? I don’t think that's a priority right now."

READ MORE: Elon Musk and his brother double down on misleading coronavirus theories [Business Insider]

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