Don Lemon clashed with Elon Musk over Diversity, Equity and Inclusion “DEI” policies in medicine in a clip that went viral on Monday.

The former CNN host interviewed the Tesla CEO and X owner for the premiere episode of his new program, “The Don Lemon Show.”

In the episode, Lemon pressed Musk to defend his claim that DEI policies would eventually lead to patients being harmed.

“If the standards for passing medical exams and becoming a doctor, especially for something like a surgeon, if the standards are lowered, then the probability the surgeon will make a mistake is higher… and that may result in people dying,” Musk said. 

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However, Lemon was adamant that there was no proof this was taking place or that DEI policies were putting patients in danger.

“There’s no evidence of that, Elon,” he argued.

A clip of the contentious exchange went viral just hours after the episode launched after it was shared by a conservative account on X.

“They have literally lowered the standards at Duke University,” Musk retorted.

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A patient waits in a room at a doctor's office.

Lemon claimed any suggestion that DEI policies were causing patients to die was purely “speculative.” He argued that research showed “the exact opposite” in terms of how minorities are treated in the medical system in the United States.

“Most doctors now are White, and there are lots of mistakes in medicine,” he continued.

The pair continued to bicker over the issue, with Lemon claiming Musk was putting forward an unlikely “hypothetical.”

“If we lower standards, people will die,” Musk insisted.

After repeatedly disagreeing about the dangers of DEI in medicine, Musk suggested users on X fact-check their arguments through the site’s “Community Notes” function.

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The pair had a public spat about the interview ahead of its release on Monday.

Lemon revealed that a deal for Musk to distribute Lemon’s new show on his platform had soured. In a post on X last week, Lemon claimed the billionaire did not like the tough questions the journalist asked him.

“Elon Musk has canceled the partnership I had with X, which they announced as part of their public commitment to amplifying more diverse voices on their platform. He informed me of his decision hours after an interview I conducted with him on Friday.”

Fox News’ Gabriel Hays contributed to this report.

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