CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - President Trump wasn’t even out of the hospital yet when he sent out a tweet telling Americans not to be afraid of COVID-19 and to not let it “dominate your life.” Some people we spoke to agree with the president.
“I’m not afraid of COVID, and I think if you take precautions are smart about it wear a mask, stay away from people, wash your hands that you’ll be fine,” said Lori Alexander.
“I think that he’s maybe being an example by saying don’t freak out, don’t cause a big panic over it.,” another man said. “I mean, he’s definitely serious, and he’s said that time and time again.”
Others think the president is sending a dangerous message.
“I think it’s irresponsible and reckless for the leader of the free world to communicate that COVID is something that you shouldn’t be afraid of,” said Andrew McRae, who lives in Cleveland.
McRae, like many others, has been personally touched by the deadly virus. He lost two grandparents to COVID-19.
“Like a lot of people in my age group, I could likely take COVID on and come out on the other side, but it’s not about me,” said McRae. “It’s about all the other people who I could put at risk and their families and the people they could go home and interact with and that’s really what it’s about. It’s about more than yourself.”
Dr. Amy Edwards, with University Hospitals, says she doesn’t want people to live in fear of the coronavirus, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be taking measures to protect yourself and others.
“I think President Trump and I mean different things,” explained Dr. Edwards. “When I say I don’t want people to be afraid of coronavirus, it’s because I want them to be prepared. I want them to wear masks and stay socially distanced and take care of themselves. I very genuinely feel that he just wants things to kind of quote on quote go back to normal, and it worries me. His followers, people who avidly follow everything that President Trump says tend to dismiss COVID already, and I feel like this is just giving them more ammunition.”
Dr. Edwards said every person’s experience with the virus is different, and it’s important for all of us whether we are at high risk at all to take this seriously and do what we can to stop the spread.
“I would wager that the nearly 210,000 people in the United States that have died from this would argue that this is very serious and something to be afraid of and not just that look at all the people who have suffered permanent lung damage and kidney damage and the people who are now dealing with chronic fatigue syndrome and were not talking about a few hundred people, we’re talking about tens of thousands even hundreds of thousands of people who have survived, but whose lives have been completely altered by this virus,” said Dr. Edwards.