Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, sent an email to all SpaceX employees on Friday saying that the risk of death from a car accident is much greater than that of the new coronavirus.
Musk told employees that based on all the new coronavirus evidence he has seen, the health risks posed by the new coronavirus are not among the top 100 in the United States.
"As a basis for comparison, the risk of death from C19 is *vastly* less than the risk of death from driving your car home," Musk, who also runs electric car manufacturer Tesla, wrote to SpaceX employees. "There are about 36 thousand automotive deaths per deaths [sic], as compared to 36 so far this year for C19."
Prior to this, Musk said on Twitter last week that "the coronavirus panic is dumb." Subsequently, Musk's statement was considered to be that he had not taken the public health crisis seriously and was widely criticized.
The coronavirus panic is dumb
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 6, 2020
SpaceX employees continue to work at Hawthorne, California. Tesla's office remains open, and the car factory continues to produce.
At the same time, the new coronavirus has spread to more than 100 countries, with more than 137,000 confirmed cases worldwide as of Friday.
Earlier this week, the World Health Organization listed new coronavirus pneumonia as a global pandemic.
In Friday's email, Musk initially stated that employees should stay at home if they feel unwell, and he appears to be addressing concerns about the new coronavirus epidemic. US President Trump announced on Friday that the United States has entered a national emergency.
Musk said that he is very concerned about the health of employees and pays close attention to the development of the epidemic every day. He encouraged employees to check the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, not only "suspected cases," but also charts showing "actually confirmed cases."