Dr. Irwin Redlener, who leads Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness, on Friday noted to MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace how some Americans were now ignoring social distancing guidelines aimed at slowing the spread of the contagion that’s so far killed more than 77,000 people nationwide.
Redlener suggested they were taking their cues from Trump and Pence. The White House is pushing to reopen the economy, despite advice from public health experts. Trump has also hyped unproven treatments for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, and said he can’t see himself wearing a face mask. On Friday, he appeared to question the value of widespread testing for the virus, a measure that is widely seen as key in the fight to suppress it.
“I think a lot of that stems from people saying, ‘Oh, I just saw the president on TV, he’s not wearing a mask and he says we should be getting back to business,’” said Redlener.
“I don’t think they grasp the impact of what they do and what they say on the American public,” Redlener continued. “Even though his popularity is dropping and his ignorance is showing full-scale, I still think he’s the president and he and the vice president are a role model and really, really terrible role models in this horrendous pandemic, unfortunately.”
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