"If you're healthy, you and your family, it's a great time to just go out and go to a local restaurant, likely you can get in easily… [G]o to your local pub."
Those are the words of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), recklessly telling anyone listening to defy the advice of medical professionals and jeopardizing the health and lives millions of Americans. No, this is not a great time to go out in public, especially a crowded pub, and the only conceivable motive for telling people otherwise is to try to prop up the economy to make Donald Trump look like less of a failure.
But it is absolutely not worth the risk. No matter how healthy you might feel, you can catch COVID-19 and, while the young and healthy are likely to recover without major complications, it dramatically increases the chances of spreading to someone who is more at-risk.
Sadly, this is not just one politician's irresponsible actions. Many Republicans have followed Trump's fictitious downplaying of the disease — from Oklahoma's Governor Kevin Stitt Texas tweeting a picture of his family in a crowded restaurant and Florida Lt. Gov. Jeff Hottkamp complaining about his cancelled vacation to Rush Limbaugh mocking the COVID-19 death rate and former Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin joking about the sky falling.
And it's not just harmful rhetoric. GOP Governor Ron DeSantis refused for a week to close Florida's beaches to partying spring breakers against the advice of medical professionals who understood that the beaches would become a breeding ground for the virus.
COVID-19 is a global pandemic that will tragically claim lives. But it remains in our nation's power to contain it and minimize the damage — IF our leaders take responsible action and stop making it worse.
Add your name to demand Republicans stop downplaying outbreak and contradicting medical advice. They're reckless words will get people killed!