The pandemic that's killed over 800 thousand Americans is now entering its third year, but inadequate distribution and administration of lifesaving vaccines has allowed COVID-19 to continue to spread, mutating into more contagious and elusive variants. Most recently, the omicron variant of the virus has sent cases skyrocketing across the nation, leading to more infections, hospitalizations, and deaths—especially among the unvaccinated.
All Americans are weary of the pandemic and the necessary measures for curtailing it, but author Bari Weiss's flippant dismissal of these precautions in a recent interview with Bill Maher has generated controversy.
Lamenting that during the pandemic she watched all of Tiger King and got to "the end of Spotify," Weiss said:
"I'm done with COVID! ... It's ridiculous at this point. … If you believe the science, you will look at the data we did not have two years ago. You will find out that cloth masks do not do anything. You will realize you can show your vaccine passport at a restaurant and still be asymptomatic and be carrying Omicron. And you will realize most importantly that this is going to be remembered by the younger generation as a catastrophic moral crime.”
While audience members and some social media users cheered for Weiss's diatribe, CNN correspondent Dr. Jonathan Reiner heavily criticized her comments in a recent segment.
'Grow up': Doctor responds to journalist's Covid restriction comments www.youtube.com
Telling Weiss to "grow up," Dr. Reiner said:
"When you say you don't want to play this game anymore and you're gonna take your ball and go home, you're acting like a child. I like the sacrifices that she enumerated, like that she stripped off her clothes when she got home and then she cleaned the grocery cans. Meanwhile, my colleagues in hospitals all around the country went in to care for people dying from this virus and continue to do that every day. ... And for the first year of this pandemic, they did that without any protection of a vaccine.
That's the sacrifice they made, and all that we've done is ask the public to wear a mask when you go out and about and get vaccinated. So I'm glad she's 'done' with it, but I sort of feel like this country has been in a boat that has filled with water, and some of us have been trying to bail the water out of this boat for two years.
And now we have people like Bari Weiss basically saying 'I'm done, I'm not bailing the water out anymore.' And when somebody who is relatively young and relatively healthy says that, what they're saying is, 'I'll be okay if I get this virus, screw you. Doesn't matter to me what happens to you.' That's the message I get from her."
Reiner shared similar sentiments in a tweet.
People related to his frustration.
And Dr. Reiner was far from the only one to chastise Weiss's rant.
Nevertheless, some still believe they can individually decide when a global pandemic is no longer a threat, and #DoneWithCovid is now trending on Twitter.