‘Reckless to a shocking degree’: Reaction to Trump saying not to ‘be afraid of Covid’ as US passes 210,000 deaths

Savannah Behrmann
 
| USA TODAY

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COVID-19: Trump’s doctor avoids questions on oxygen

President Trump’s doctor said Trump is not currently on oxygen, but would not say whether he ever received oxygen since his COVID-19 diagnosis.

WASHINGTON – Celebrities, political pundits, and critics responded to President Donald Trump’s tweet to not “be afraid of Covid”, calling the message “preposterous” and “dangerous” for the leader of a nation that has surpassed 210,000 deaths to spread.

Trump returned to the White House Monday evening, despite still being infected with COVID-19, just three days after he arrived at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center with coronavirus symptoms that caused doctors to administer oxygen.

Trump, who received around-the-clock care at Walter Reed and therapies not widely available to most patients experiencing mild symptoms, advised his followers to not let COVID-19 “dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge.”

More: Trump leaves Walter Reed hospital to return to the White House as he battles COVID-19

More: A visual guide to President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 treatment

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden responded to the tweet in an interview with Local 10 News in Miami, Florida, saying, “I saw a tweet he did, they showed me, he said ‘don’t let COVID control your life.’ Tell that to the 205,000 families that lost somebody.”

Singer and actress Barbra Streisand responded with, “How dare he say such a stupid thing” and that it was “preposterous!” 

“210,000 American people have lost their lives! Children have lost their parents. Mothers and fathers are gone!” she tweeted. 

Live updates:Trump leaves hospital, ‘don’t be afraid of COVID’ as US hits 210,000 deaths

“Don’t be afraid of Covid?!” Actor and activist Chris Evans posted. “You’ve been under round-the-clock care by the best doctors using the best drugs. Do you really think everyone has access to that?!”

David Axelrod, senior advisor to former president Barack Obama, called Trump a “Super Spreader of dangerous untruths.” He pleaded with people to “not follow his advice” and to “BE afraid of COVID, and act accordingly.” 

Author Karen Swallow Prior posted that “You can definitely survive getting hit by a bus” and “you should definitely be afraid of it and take every possible precaution to avoid it.”

More: White House COVID-19 outbreak shows the limits of testing; even the most accurate ones can miss the coronavirus early

More: White House ‘superspreader’ event in Rose Garden reminds people that yes, you should still wear a mask outside

Around 20 people — including White House officials, Trump campaign staffers and reporters – have tested positive since Trump’s positive COVID-19 test announcement. This includes two White House residence staff members.

Health experts have stressed wearing masks as one of the most effective ways to curb the spread of the virus. 

Contributing: David Jackson, John Fritze, Michael Collins, Courtney Subramanian USA TODAY

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