Jimmy Fallon has joked that the Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 sounded like one of Elon Musk’s children’s names.
He appeared to be referring to the name of Musk’s son, X Æ A-Xii.
The comedian and television host made the joke during a song about the Omicron subvariant when he performed on a January 5 episode of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” He sang: “It’s a new strain, but it isn’t the same. Sounds more like Elon Musk’s kid’s name.”
The song was shared widely on Twitter after it was seized by conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers. One user posted the video, saying: “Jimmy Fallon singing about how XBB.1.5 is the best Covid variant yet.. This is 5th Gen Warfare.. You are under attack”
Musk responded to a version of the video shared by journalist Glenn Greenwald, calling it: “Tragic.”
The new Omicron subvariant is spreading quickly in the US and causing more than 40% of new COVID-19 cases, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. XBB.1.5 is more transmissible and is better at evading the immune system than other Omicrons, experts told Insider.
Representatives for Fallon and Musk did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Musk’s son, X Æ A-Xii, was born in 2020. The singer Grimes, with whom Musk was in a relationship, is the child’s mother.
Shortly after his birth, Grimes said each letter of the unusual name was significant. She explained in a tweet the X stands for “the unknown variable,” Æ for her “elven spelling of Ai,” and A-12 for the “precursor to SR-17 (our favorite aircraft.)”
As Insider previously reported, the couple appeared to have changed the spelling of the baby’s name from X Æ A-12 to X Æ A-Xii to comply with California state law.