By: Hana Kotb
Concerning the 12 boys and their coach that were trapped in a cave in Thailand, Elon Musk tried to help in a variety of ways, including traveling to Thailand, sending engineers to the country, and building a child-sized submarine.
Musk’s submarine was deemed “not practical” for the mission by Narongsak Osatanakorn, the head of the joint command center who coordinated the operation. But Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said he was “highly appreciative” of Musk’s efforts.
However, critics took to social media and criticized his involvement as a public-relations stunt, and many have joked about the submarine being deemed “not practical” by those leading the rescue mission.
elon musk before leaving the rescued boys in thailand pic.twitter.com/FIbvXV9dfC
— Ali (@eazyonme) July 10, 2018
In response, Musk said on Twitter on that the reaction to his efforts had “shaken my opinion of many people…We were asked to create a backup option & worked hard to do so…Checked with dive team many times to confirm it was worthwhile. Now it’s there for anyone who needs it in future. Something’s messed up if this is not a good thing.”
This reaction has shaken my opinion of many people. We were asked to create a backup option & worked hard to do so. Checked with dive team many times to confirm it was worthwhile. Now it’s there for anyone who needs it in future. Something’s messed up if this is not a good thing.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 11, 2018
Also, Musk tweeted a screenshot of an email thread with the dive team working on the rescue mission encouraging him the continue with his efforts, stating that the submarine “may well be used” as part of the rescue mission.
Fans defended Musk on Twitter. They appreciated him taking the time and use of his company’s resources for a good cause.
Jeez, people all over the world were armchair quarterbacking the Thai cave rescue and @elonmusk is getting bad press because he talked to the experts involved on the scene, actually tried building something and flew it out there on his own dime? I'm just ecstatic everyone is out.
— Scott Manley (@DJSnM) July 10, 2018
everyone: elon musk is a billionaire and doesn’t do anything to help people
elon: *quickly creates capsule with a team of experts to help 12 thai children escape a flooded cave*
everyone: you’re doing it for the attention, we hate you
— Dayton Potter (@daytonpotter) July 10, 2018