Musk: Medical Genius Or COVID Superspreader?

You could make the case that Elon Musk -- the genius behind Tesla electric cars and SpaceX private space exploration – is also a genius in medtech because of his Neuralink company. But both that venture, and Musk's lifting of Twitter restrictions on COVID misinformation, have pissed off much of the healthcare community.

Neuralink is developing brain implants initially designed to help improve or restore vision, as well as enable people with almost no muscle ability to make phone calls faster than people with working hands can.

Those two applications were cited by Musk in a Wednesday night “Show and Tell” in which the entrepreneur announced that Neuralink expects to do its first human implant in six months, pending Food and Drug Administration approval of a clinical trial.

Neuralink implants have already been done in monkeys and other animals, and Musk showed video of a couple of monkeys playing Pong and using a computer keyboard telepathically.

“We care a great deal about animal welfare,” Musk noted. “Before we would even think of putting a device in an animal, we do everything we possibly can with rigorous benchtop testing. We’re not cavalier.”

Those comments may have been made in response to a new website -- -- set up earlier in the week by the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine to reveal what the group calls “the grisly details of Musk’s monkey experiments.”

The organization claims that hundreds of pages of public records contain evidence showing that “Neuralink employees have been mutilating and killing monkeys” in pursuit of the company’s goals.

The site tells the stories of eight specific monkeys in pretty graphic detail, and also provides a rundown of non-animal methods that Neuralink could instead be using in its research.

Turning to Musk’s move to lift restrictions on COVID misinformation “aghast” would be a kind word to use for much of the response from the medical community.

“Vaccines have a major weakness, and that’s misinformation,” David Bowen, head of policy and advocacy at ad agency Klick Health, told Pharma and Health Insider. ‘Wave after wave of false statements about vaccines have limited their uptake, reducing the protection they would otherwise provide. Allowing unchecked misinformation to spread on Twitter will compound this problem and put more lives at risk."

“Nowhere near enough was being done to stamp out medical misinformation on social media previously, but this step, along with re-platforming voices who wish to sow confusion and increase mistrust in medicine, will do more harm,” Jack Resneck Jr., president of the American Medical Association, said in a statement quoted by Politico.

Rolling Stone, cautioning that Twitter could now become a “misinformation superspreader,” reported that “users are already testing the waters to see what kind of false statements they can knowingly publish: “’COVID was created in a lab by the Chinese with the assistance of Dr. Fauci,’ one user tweeted Tuesday, quickly garnering 5,000 likes. ‘Ivermectin works!!! Go figure,’ posted another user, who got 11.9 thousand likes.”

What can purveyors of truthful information do in the wake of Twitter’s policy reversal?

Eric Feigl-Ding, chief of the COVID task force at the New England Complex Systems Institute,  urged people to stay on Twitter and "NOT cede the town square" to the misinformed.

3 comments about "Musk: Medical Genius Or COVID Superspreader?".
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  1. Kirk Augustin from Mr., December 2, 2022 at 11:22 a.m.

    The "misinformation" is coming from Moderna and Pfizer, not Twitter or social media.  If Moderna and Pfizer were being truthful, then they would not need to censor social media.  Everyone knows how vaccines work.  They contain dead pathogens so the immune system can remember than for next time.  But the mRNA injections do not contain any pathogens, just instructions to get our own cells to grow proteins.  And the immune system can not remember and trigger on spike proteins because our own exosomes use them.  That is how coronaviruses sneak into our cells, by mimicking our own exosomes, with the same protein spike.  So without any doubt at all, mRNA vaccines can easily be shown to be complete fakes.  They only seem to work temporarily because the immune system detects all those extra spike proteins as dead cell debris that it needs to clean up with some extra antibodies.  That is not an immune response.  There is no immune response from mRNA injections.

  2. Kirk Augustin from Mr., December 2, 2022 at 11:29 a.m.

    Again it is the censorship that is obiously wrong.  We know the CDC and WHO spent millions on Wuhan lab to carry out "gain of function" experiments on coronaviruses from bats.  We know the covid-19 virus first outbreak was in Wuhan and it is a bat coronavirus.  The odds of that being coincidental are astronomical.  Why then is anyone letting this obvious connection be censored?  We need to decide as a country, if "gain of function" research is necessary or too risky?  That should not be up to the private, for profit, medical industry to decide.

  3. Kirk Augustin from Mr., December 2, 2022 at 11:32 a.m.

    Why does ANYONE get to "stamp out" anything in the media?  Misinformation or not, should be decided by the entire population of any democratic republic, not the bureaucratic elite that is profit motivated.

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