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17 Mar, 2020 18:54

Celebrities take social distancing & blaming millenials to levels bordering on absurd

Celebrities take social distancing & blaming millenials to levels bordering on absurd

Public figures in the US have ramped up their responses to the coronavirus outbreak by practicing social distancing, shaming millennials who refuse to self-isolate and making brash comparisons, but it all seems more like a stunt.

‘Fox & Friends’ surprised many on Tuesday morning when the hosts were seen practicing social distancing. 

“To be responsible, to show social distancing, all three of us are apart — same studio, plenty of distance,” co-host Brian Kilmeade explained. The three hosts are typically seen seated close to one another on the same couch.

The change came a day after US President Donald Trump encouraged Americans to practice social distancing for two weeks, and New York City — where the show is filmed — announced a high uptick in confirmed cases. 

The seriousness with which the hosts treated the virus stands in stark contrast to their past comments on the disease, as well as coverage from other prominent hosts at the network. Co-host Ainsley Earhardt had said only days before it was “the safest time to fly” for US citizens, but on Tuesday she was encouraging viewers to “think of others.” 

Kilmeade had previously called the coronavirus a “break” for Joe Biden as he now has an excuse to skip live events and reduce the risk of making another gaffe. 

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Fox host Trish Regan — who is no longer on the air — dismissed the virus as an impeachment scam against Trump, and Jesse Watters admitted over the weekend he wasn’t taking social distancing seriously and went out to dinner.

The tone has certainly changed, but is it because true concern has crept its way into the network, or are they just taking advantage of a moment?

De Blasio hits the gym

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s feelings on the coronavirus have also come under scrutiny. The mayor shrugged off criticism on Tuesday over him being spotted going to a public gym only hours before Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday that all such facilities were being closed in the state.

“I don’t get it,” de Blasio told MSNBC when asked about the criticism. As the mayor of the city, it’s hard to believe de Blasio was unaware that gyms were going to be closing and he went anyway, which suggests he either doesn’t believe the risk is as high as the guidelines for his city state, or he didn’t think gyms were a threat until Cuomo actually made his announcement.

Those pesky millennials

Celebrities have also taken advantage of the coronavirus to shame millennials who refuse to self-isolate. Actress Hilary Duff launched a rant on Instagram against “millennial a**holes” who refuse to stay home, something she is no doubt capable of doing thanks to royalty checks that would likely make most Americans blush. 

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Politicians such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have also taken to shaming younger people still mingling in public. She recently took to Twitter to criticize people “under 40” still crowding bars and restaurants. Those remarks, though, came only days after the congresswoman suggested it was “straight-up racism” that people were not continuing to visit Asian restaurants due to the coronavirus, which is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China.

Comedy ‘PSA’

Max and Mel Brooks took a different approach when promoting social distancing and self-isolation. Max appeared in a video with his comedian father — who is 93 — safely behind glass, and talked about the importance of keeping away from the elderly as the coronavirus poses a much higher risk to them. 

In the PSA, the ‘World War Z’ author is technically talking about a disease he believes to be so serious he can’t be around his own father, but it plays more like a comedy routine.

While the coronavirus has certainly been destructive, especially when you consider the worldwide death toll, it appears to be used in the US more as a publicity stunt. It calls into question how seriously the most ‘panicked’ public figures actually take this disease, because their actions seem to outweigh their worry.

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