Technology Executive Apologizes After Dozens of Event Attendees Contract Covid-19
A technology executive in California apologized for hosting a conference in Culver City after two dozen attendees and staff members tested positive for coronovirus.
Peter H. Diamondis, executive, was among those to contract coronovirus. He hosted the conference – called an annual summit for a paid-membership group Abundance 360 – In late January, with about 80 present, panelists and support staff members.
Assembly erupted Guidance from public health officials in Los Angeles County, Who repeatedly urged people to refrain from extra travel or public union. those days During the conference, Southern California was coming down by bus Increase in coronavirus cases, And many hospitals were still Overwhelmed.
Mr. Diamandis, Founder of the X Prize Foundation, A nonprofit group that offers cash prizes for technological innovation, said blog post On Friday he was “deeply sorry”. He said that the security protocol for the event – including the Kovid-19 test for repeated appearances, none of which had shown positive results at the time – had created a false sense of security, causing people to mask and Were less cautious about distances.
“I was wrong,” Mr. Damandis said, adding that mask, physical disturbances and vaccines were the best ways to fight the virus. “I hope other people can learn from my mistakes.”
According to Mr. Diamondis, hundreds of people attended the conference virtually, and some asked if they could physically attend. Borders of Los Angeles, which was transformed into a studio space at the X Awards office in Culver City, and Mr. Diamandis’s Instagram posts The event showed him sharing a colorful lighted stage with panelists. video calls And others Self.
Mr. Damanandis said that those attending the event were asked to share a negative test result for coronovirus before they arrived, and workers and attendees were tested repeatedly at the event, and from 450 More negative results yielded.
“I think an immune bubble was a ‘real thing,” Mr. Diamandis said.
But two days after the studio’s production ended, he said, a member of his staff tested positive. He sent emails to inform attendees, urging them to separate and test again.
On Friday, he wrote that at least 24 people had become infected. MIT Technology Review, which reported on last week’s gathering, Found that at least 32 people associated with the convention could be infected.
A typical membership 360 in abundance costs $ 12,500 annually, According to the organization’s online content, And MIT Technology Review reported that January event attendees paid upwards of $ 30,000 each. When the conference began on January 23, California won a Strict stay order at Place; He was Woke up two days later.
On Tuesday, state and county health officials did not immediately respond to a question about whether Mr. DeMandies could be fined or otherwise disciplined.
Representative of Mr. Damanandis, who has a medical degree from Harvard Medical School and whose entrepreneurial ventures include A Coronavirus Vaccine Development Company And a Kovid-19 compete to improve test technology, Did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.
Some types of testing, especially those that produce rapid results, do not strongly detect low levels of the virus and may report infected people as “negative”. And even the best tests may not look in the future: people can contract coronaviruses after the results of a negative test.
According to Mr. Diemendis, attendees took PCR tests, which are molecular tests processed using a technique called polymerase chain reaction. These tests are considered relatively reliable, but they are not accurate. (Antigen tests, which tend to detect fragments of coronavirus proteins rather than their genetic material, give faster results than molecular tests, but are poor at identifying coronavirus cases.)
PCR tests caused a false sense of security according to Mr. Diamondis. “We did not consider it necessary to wear masks in the studio 100 percent of the time,” he said. “This is definitely one of my biggest failures and one of the most important lessons.”
Those lessons – particularly about relying too much on test results – made him ill after he hit home for Mr. Diamondis.
“Once it was clear that I had personally contracted the Kovid-19 (which sucks as much as everyone says), I found myself with rapid PCR and fast antigen twice every day, Tested continuously for several days, ”he wrote in his blog post. “I was shocked that none of the tests came out positive.”
In his quarantine of four days, a PCR spit test finally detected the virus, Mr. Damandis said.
He also mentioned that a group of people at the Culver City event – 35 audio-visual experts running live broadcasts – wore masks during the production process and did not report any positive test results.
“There were no COVID cases among this group,” Mr. Diamandis wrote. “Bottom line again: The mask works.”