After Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, tweeted that “something extremely bogus” was going on with rapid COVID-19 tests, one biologist just wasn’t having it. Dr. Emma Bell (@emmabell42), an expert in epigenetics, explained that the likely reason behind his varying results is that rapid antigen tests can only detect a high level of infection. It’s not that they’re ineffective, it’s that they serve a slightly different purpose—to quickly identify the most contagious people so as to limit the spread of infection. Bell ended her tweet by blasting Musk as “Space Karen” for his failure to appropriately research the test, its purpose, and how it works before calling “bogus” in front of his millions of followers.
The internet responded to Musk’s new nickname with absolute glee, with Twitter user @EmergMedDr begging everyone to come together and make it stick.
Some people decided to bring up Musk’s previous bad takes on the coronavirus, such as the time all the way back in March when he insisted it would all be over by April.
Others went right to memes.
And enough people combined them with “President Karen” memes ripping on Donald Trump that it started a trend.
*First Published: Nov 16, 2020, 1:41 pm
Siobhan Ball is a historian, archivist, and journalist. She also writes for Autostraddle and bi.org