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ABC News White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl complained Friday that President Donald Trump’s Republican National Convention speech from the White House featuring about 1,000 mostly unmasked guests will become a COVID-19 “super-spreader event.”
In addition, he bemoaned to MSNBC “11th Hour” host Brian Williams that the president was setting the wrong example by his actions, which he claimed was a “visual message” that the dangers associated with the pandemic have passed.
“I think the idea of this being a super-spreader event, Brian, it may be a super-spreader event, what we saw on the South Lawn, in a more profound way than literally the people that were there,” Karl said.
“That event last night sent a message to the country going into Labor Day, that the visual message was this pandemic is over. Fireworks are back. Remember all those fireworks displays that were canceled for July 4th? Fireworks are back. Mass events outside. All those concerts that have been canceled,” he continued.
“Look, it all happened on the South Lawn of the White House. What message does that send to the rest of the country? And how much of the country looks at that and says, ‘Hey, it happened at the White House. You know, let’s go, Labor Day,’” he said.
“And if you remember, the big spikes that we saw over the summer happened after Memorial Day when people let their guard down, and then after July 4th,” Karl continued. “So the question, and a big gamble for President Trump, frankly, is does this turn into a super-spreader event magnified across the country because people replicate it as they go into this holiday weekend and do we see a second wave that is effectively fueled by what we saw on the South Lawn of the White House.”
Karl isn’t the first liberal journalist to complain about the president’s RNC speech being attended by a large audience.
CNN’s Jake Tapper complained about it on Thursday as people began to filter into the venue, claiming he had been talking to “health officials around the country who are just abjectly mortified by what they’re seeing from the South Lawn, which looks like a potential super-spreader event.”
“We should expect better from our national leaders,” Tapper said. “The idea that 2,000 individuals with no mass testing, no social distancing, very few of them wearing masks, coming together. Forget the Hatch Act violations, we’re getting into a matter of life and death here.”
“It’s really alarming. And I have to say that idea of this is happening while this pandemic is going on, and the president and the White House trying to convince us that it isn’t, is just otherworldly,” he added.
Some health experts have noted that the resurgences of the virus following periods of lockdowns and reduced exposure are predictable because they delay the formation of herd immunity.
In fact, California physicians Dr. Dan Erickson and Dr. Artin Massihi argued in April that lockdowns were detrimental and would prolong the herd immunity necessary for the virus to run its course.
“Once [herd immunity] hits 70 or 80 percent, the virus has nowhere else to go and it burns out,” Erickson told Fox News host Laura Ingraham. “So I think the key is, the vaccine helps get you to herd immunity. But also, you can get to herd immunity without a vaccine.”
Massihi knocked the lockdown strategy as well by asking: “The problem with social isolation is, how do you get out of it?”
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