'The Black Swan' Author To Elon Musk: 'Saying The Coronavirus Panic Is Dumb Is Dumb'

'The Black Swan' Author To Elon Musk: 'Saying The Coronavirus Panic Is Dumb Is Dumb'

Statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb on Saturday responded to Tesla Inc. TSLA chief executive officer Elon Musk's comments calling the panic over the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak "dumb."

What Happened

"The coronavirus panic is dumb," the billionaire entrepreneur tweeted on Friday.

Taleb, a professor and book author, best known for his work "The Black Swan" that predicted the 2008 global financial crisis, responded that "saying the coronavirus panic is dumb is dumb." "If the word ‘panic' means ‘exaggerated' reaction, could be so at the individual level but NOT at the collective one," Taleb said in a follow-up tweet. "We MUST reduce connectivity for 20 [days] to avert a serious problem." "We have survived for zillion years thanks to ‘irrational panics,'" the statistician said.

Why It Matters

The coronavirus, which emerged in Wuhan city in China late last year, has infected at least 110, 041 people globally, with 3,825 confirmed deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The coronavirus has also found footing in the United States, where 554 cases of the COVID-19 have been confirmed, as the virus continued to spread in other countries including Italy and South Korea.

Experts have cast doubts on the medical preparedness of governments, especially in underdeveloped countries, if the spread of the virus turns into a global pandemic. Several technology companies, including Apple Inc. AAPL and Microsoft Corporation MSFT downgraded their earnings expectations for the quarters affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Tesla, too, acknowledged the impact of the virus on its earnings in a regulatory filing with the SEC.

Price Action

Tesla's shares closed 2.91% lower at $703.48 on Friday and further dropped 1.81% lower in the after-hours session at $690.75.

Photo Credit: Public domain photo via Wikimedia.

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