As millennials and young Americans continue to defy federal guidelines on social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams has called upon celebrities and social media influencers to instruct their followers to take the virus seriously.
Speaking on “Good Morning America,” Adams called on celebrities like NBA players Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell, as well as influencers like Kylie Jenner, to educate people about the need to social distance.
“What I really think we need to do … [is] get our influencers — [NBA players] Kevin Durant, Donovan Mitchell, we need to get Kylie Jenner, we need to get our social media influencers out there and helping folks understand that look, this is serious,” Adams said, as reported by The Washington Times.
To those young people nonchalantly assuming that they will be unaffected by COVID-19, Adams said that new data suggests otherwise.
“This is absolutely serious. People are dying. We again are seeing new data emerging from Italy that suggests that young people may be at higher risk in different situations than what we previously thought,” he said. “Stay off the beaches.”
Adams was undoubtedly referring to the Spring Breakers in Florida who were shown partying on the beaches as if no pandemic were happening. In one terrifying video, many of those interviewed expressed flippancy in regard to the situation.
“If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not going to let it stop me from partying,” one spring breaker said. “You know, we’ve been waiting, I’ve been waiting, for Miami spring break for a while, about two months we’ve had this trip planned. And we’re just out here having a good time. Whatever happens, happens.”
Another spring breaker said: “It’s really messing up my spring break. What is there to do here other than go to bars or the beach? And they’re closing all of it. I think they’re blowing it out of proportion. I think it’s doing way too much.”
Another said: “What they’re doing is bad. We need a refund. This virus ain’t that serious. There are more serious things out there like hunger and poverty, and we need to address that.”
“If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I'm not gonna let it stop me from partying”: Spring breakers are still flocking to Miami, despite coronavirus warnings. https://t.co/KoYKI8zNDH pic.twitter.com/rfPfea1LrC
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 18, 2020
In response to the lack of seriousness, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered all beaches in the state closed, allowing groups of up to just 10 people who must practice social distancing.
“The message I think for spring breakers is that the party’s over in Florida, you’re not going to be able to congregate on any beach in the state,” DeSantis told Fox News. “Many of the hot spots that people like to go to, whether it’s Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Clearwater Beach, are closed entirely for the time being.”
“The bars are closed so you’re not going to have a place to congregate there, so we would just tell those folks maybe come back next year when things are better, but that is not what we’re looking for here in the state of Florida,” DeSantis added. “Every single beach will have to abide by the CDC guidelines, no more than 10 people, you have to be socially distant, not every beach is going to remain open, but some will.”