Clearly Elon has always been extremely deferential to experts with proper academic credentials.
Yes, and it almost killed him when he had malaria and two medical doctors, with proper academic credentials, at two different hospitals, misdiagnosed his malaria and failed to give him the life-saving medicine. His life was saved only because a third doctor happened upon his chart and recognized malaria as malaria and prescribed him the life-saving anti-malarial drugs. The one doctor who knew how to diagnose malaria told him the medicine would likely not have worked if he had gone one more day without it.
I can hardly blame him for not taking the word of every "professional" with proper academic credentials! In my life, I have numerous experiences of being more competent than the credentialed professionals who gave poor advice. Needless to say, I will question idiots every time they say something that flies in the face of reason, even if they have the proper academic credentials.