Infectious disease expert: Trump Mt. Rushmore event is 'beyond irresponsible' and 'the behavior of a cult leader
Added 07-03-20 03:57:02pm EST - “Dr. Celine Gounder, a prominent infectious diseases specialist and epidemiologist, said Friday that President Trump's Fourth of July celebration at Mount Rushmore is "beyond irresponsible" as the nation sees record-breaking outbreaks…” - Thehill.com
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Dr. Celine Gounder, a prominent infectious diseases specialist and epidemiologist, said Friday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpSecret Service members who helped organize Pence Arizona trip test positive for COVID-19: report Trump administration planning pandemic office at the State Department: report Iran releases photo of damaged nuclear fuel production site: report MORE's Fourth of July celebration at Mount Rushmore is "beyond irresponsible" as the nation sees record-breaking outbreaks of the novel coronavirus.
"I'm highly concerned. This is beyond irresponsible," Gounder, CNN's medical analyst, said when asked what she thought of the Friday evening event.
"This is the behavior of a cult leader who is jumping off the cliff, except he's jumping off into a safety net where he has protections around him. People around him are being tested. He's being tested on a regular basis. While he asks his followers to jump off a cliff into nothing," she continued. "I mean, this is extremely dangerous behavior and unfortunately, this has become so politicized where you abide by public health and scientific recommendations on the basis of your political beliefs not based on the science. And people are really going to be harmed as a result of this."
Trump will attend a fireworks display at Mount Rushmore on Friday, where thousands are expected to gather without masks or social distancing requirements. South Dakota Gov. Kristi NoemKristi Lynn NoemSecond tribal leader calls for removal of Mount Rushmore before Trump visit South Dakota governor: Masks are optional at Mount Rushmore event Trump's attending Pentagon announces July 4th flyovers across northeast MORE (R) also confirmed this week that social distancing would not be enforced at the event.
Gounder joins other health experts who have expressed concerns that the holiday celebrations will be a breeding ground for COVID-19 cases at a time when many states are seeing back-to-back days of record-breaking case numbers.
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