‘Don’t be afraid of COVID’: Trump’s message panned as ‘irresponsible’

Washington:President Donald Trump has drawn criticism for his decision to leave the hospital and return to the White House while he’s still infected with Covid-19 — and for boasting that Americans shouldn’t fear the disease.

Shortly after his release from Walter Reed, Trump tweeted, “Don’t be afraid of COVID.” He added, “Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump administration, some really great drugs & knowledge.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, called Trump’s message a “bone of contention.”

“You look at the now 210,000 people in the United States of America who have died, and you talk about the 7 million who have been infected, the 1 million who have died globally,” he said in an interview with the New Yorker.

“I think anybody who is looking at this realistically has to say this is a very serious situation. … It is a very serious disease that we need to reckon with.”

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s reaction: “He (Trump) said ‘don’t let COVID control your life.’ Tell that to the 205,000 families that lost somebody,”

Biden said Trump picked up COVID-19 because he refused to follow health guidelines and routinely wear a mask.

“Where millions of people have lost their jobs, where people are facing hunger and eviction, to say don’t be afraid of the COVID-19 is an absurd statement,” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said while campaigning for Biden in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“Of course, we should be afraid of it. It has wreaked havoc on our economy and on all of our lives.”

“I am struggling for words — this is crazy,” said Harald Schmidt, assistant professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania. “It is just utterly irresponsible.”

“It will lead to more casual behavior, which will lead to more transmission of the virus, which will lead to more illness, and more illness will lead to more deaths,” added Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious diseases expert at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

Image courtesy of (Collage courtesy ABC News)

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