A fellow co-founder of PayPal Holdings Inc. said Elon Musk and others probably regret comments they made dismissing the seriousness of the novel coronavirus, adding that he’s hopeful the billionaire will now help in the relief effort.

“Everyone who has made fun of this thing as a tougher flu or a silly problem that is going to go away with the first ray of sunshine is probably slightly embarrassed by those comments,” Max Levchin, who at 23 co-founded a company that would eventually become PayPal, said Monday on Bloomberg Television. “That excludes no one.”

Musk, who now runs Tesla Inc. and SpaceX, initially downplayed the virality of the coronavirus and fatality rates related to Covid-19. He called panic over the illness “dumb” and predicted that overreaction would do more harm than the disease itself before starting to help by donating masks to hospital workers and buying ventilators.

Musk has told his Twitter followers that Tesla can be most helpful by purchasing ventilators and helping deliver them more efficiently. While he tweeted that he had an engineering discussion with ventilator maker Medtronic Plc on March 21, it’s unclear whether Tesla or Space Exploration Technologies Corp. will play a role in manufacturing the desperately needed medical devices.

“You do have this spirit of Silicon Valley, that when given direction or given a good idea, we know how to mobilize and inspire and go through walls and build something,” Levchin, who’s now chief executive officer of fintech company Affirm Inc., said on Bloomberg TV. “And so in that sense, I think if Elon is committing to build ventilators, by god he’s going to build a lot of ventilators, and they’re probably going to be quite good.”

--With assistance from Candy Cheng.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.