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.
“This [pandemic] is going to be remembered by the younger generation as a catastrophic moral crime." -@BariWeiss pic.twitter.com/yccNbqZObj
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) January 22, 2022
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.
I’m sorry Bari Weiss is really inconvenienced by the pandemic and I’m glad she’s done with it but 3600 Americans died yesterday and over 860k have died in the last 2 years. Yes you were told that vaccines would bring us out of this but 25% of this country refuse to vax. Grow up. https://t.co/PDWVbJf83a
— Jonathan Reiner (@JReinerMD) January 22, 2022
People related to his frustration.
This. Bari Weiss may be done with COVID, but our patients, doctors, and hospitals are not. We need a strategy which prioritizes safe schools, testing, and data-driven guidelines. Not crap about how the pandemic restrictions are worse than the death/illness we see from covid. https://t.co/gOh4XGoXzL
— Ross "VaccinesWork" Levine (@rosslevinemd) January 23, 2022
A star struck Bill Maher fan having a hissy-fit while las week, 10,000 families lost a loved one to covid. We're all fed up, but it may be more apt if she were to lambaste the unvaccinated #covidiots instead of medical experts, gov't entities & businesses trying to keep ppl safe https://t.co/HAABMvnZKW
— IamCatherine (@HelloCatherine2) January 24, 2022
Poor little Bari Weiss is "done" with covid. What unbelievable privelege. Also, how can someone claiming to be a journalist not understand the basic principle that we needed to have higher vax rates and global equity to get back to normal? I mean this is BASIC. https://t.co/2bEbstRlD2
— Doctor Kyla of Dog Hair Included (@DoctorKyla) January 24, 2022
The government, the NIH, CDC and FDA do not have control over the virus itself. They are responding to the virus whose entire job is to infect, sicken, kill and mutate.
It doesn't give a shit what Bari Weiss or anyone else is "done with". It's not done with us. https://t.co/D0R1d01rJP
— I was a host body (@capeannsky) January 22, 2022
And Dr. Reiner was far from the only one to chastise Weiss's rant.
Frontline workers are constantly exposed and overworked, but hey....the journalist and the boomer comedian are "over it" 🙄 https://t.co/4DzCj2OTpg pic.twitter.com/t1XvW9cuie
— . (@abeIhdz) January 24, 2022
When Bari Weiss evokes Flint schoolchildren going to virtual learning—to cry about the tyranny of her having to quarantine with Tiger King—she forgets those Flint children are SEVERELY immunocompromised from being poisoned and more vulnerable to COVID https://t.co/pS449J9NGl
— Jordan (@JordanChariton) January 24, 2022
Are we supposed to be impressed by this drivel? These are words strung together. They don’t mean anything that makes sense. https://t.co/gk7TBysUBy
— Joseph Saltarelli (@JoeJSaltarelli) January 24, 2022
“This pandemic will scar a generation a generation of health workers.” -Me
There’s a profound disconnect between the public—understandably exhausted with Covid—and our providers.
For healthcare workers this isn’t a “pandemic of bureaucracy”. 🧵 https://t.co/aezYtA26PJ
— Craig Spencer MD MPH (@Craig_A_Spencer) January 24, 2022
"I'm done with Covid!" A remarkable statement. It's like a toddler who hasn't yet developed object permanence throwing his hands over his eyes and thinking that makes the bad thing disappear. https://t.co/VrycNWz3mE
— Dan Gardner (@dgardner) January 23, 2022
Nevertheless, some still believe they can individually decide when a global pandemic is no longer a threat, and #DoneWithCovid is now trending on Twitter.