Tesla chief Elon Musk called coronavirus a “pandemic” on Twitter five days before the World Health … [+]
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Topline: Tesla CEO Elon Musk received the most likes and retweets during the past 7 days on Twitter, according to data compiled by the social media tracking firm NewsWhip, for his dismissive March 6 Tweet claiming the “coronavirus panic is dumb,” before the virus had upended industry and American life, showing just how much can change in seven days.
- As of Friday morning, Musk’s five-word tweet was liked over 1.7 million times and retweeted nearly 350,000 times, and was the most-liked and RT’d tweet since the previous Friday, March 6, 2020.
- Confirmed U.S. cases continue to grow, with over 1,600 infected and 41 people dead as of Friday, and corporations and businesses across the U.S. implementing work-from-home policies to help stem the spread of disease.
- In the past week, markets were walloped by selloffs as investors remain spooked by Covid-19, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average seeing its biggest drop Thursday since 1987’s “Black Monday” crash.
- Countless sporting and entertainment events have been cancelled or postponed, including MLB, NBA, NCAA, Formula One and Broadway performances, among many others; Forbes is tracking them here, along with coronavirus-prompted layoffs.
- President Trump on Wednesday announced a 30 day travel ban from Europe, sending airlines and travelers scrambling to change their plans and comply before it went into effect, while Congress negotiates a coronavirus relief bill and the White House works to close a deal on a financial stimulus package.
- NewsWhip’s Twitter engagement data comes from its database of influential users, which tracks around 350,000 accounts.
Big number: 15%. That’s how much Tesla’s stock price has dropped during this week’s massive sell-offs.
Key background: Over the last few months, coronavirus—officially named COVID-19—has spread quickly from Wuhan, China to the rest of the world, with Italy, Iran and South Korea dealing with the most severe outbreaks outside of China. In the U.S., state and local governments have begun limiting large gatherings of people to fight disease transmission. According to the New York Times, more than 135,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide and nearly 5,000 have died as of Friday. Critics have slammed the Trump administration’s response to the outbreak, accusing Trump of downplaying the threat of the virus, and flubbing his national address on the crisis, while the administration has faced heat for creating botched test kits and then being too slow in making working kits available.