A spring break reveler whose flippant view of the coronavirus pandemic drew swift backlash and criticism from health experts is taking back his words.
While on vacation in Miami last week, Brady Sluder of Milford, Ohio, told Reuters he wasn’t concerned about contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
“If I get corona, I get corona,” he said in the March 18 interview. “At the end of the day, I’m not going to let it stop me from partying. About two months we’ve had this trip planned, two, three months, and we’re just out here to having a good time.”
The interview was cited by numerous outlets ― including CBS News, The Washington Post and HuffPost ― amid concerns that Florida wasn’t doing enough to encourage social distancing at its many resorts and beaches. On an episode of “The Daily Show” that aired last week, host Trevor Noah mocked Sluder’s remarks, noting, “Get your shit together, young people. Coronavirus ain’t no joke.”
Over the weekend, Sluder issued a public apology on Instagram.
“I wasn’t aware of the severity of my actions and comments,” Sluder wrote on Instagram. “I’d like to take this time to own up to the mistakes I’ve made and apologize to the people I’ve offended ... our generation may feel invincible, like I did when I commented, but we have a responsibility to listen and follow the recommendations in our communities.”
Noting that he was “not asking for your forgiveness, or pity,” he continued in the accompanying caption, “I want to use this as motivation to become a better person, a better son, a better friend and a better citizen. ... I’ve learned from these trying times and I’ve felt the repercussions to the fullest.”
While early tests showed older people and those with underlying conditions were most at risk, new evidence shows that younger people are also being diagnosed with coronavirus in high numbers, and spreading the illness.
Over the weekend, the University of Tampa announced six of its students had tested positive for the coronavirus upon returning from spring break, though officials didn’t specify where those students had traveled.
The school stopped all face-to-face courses and began remote learning March 17.
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