Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams has asked celebrity influencers like Kylie Jenner and NBA star Kevin Durant to tell their millions of young followers to heed the federal government’s coronavirus warnings by practicing social distancing and staying at home as much as possible.
Adams’ plea follows recent media reports showing hordes of young people partying in South Florida in defiance of national guidelines. Their careless behavior has sparked condemnation from state and local officials who are now working to close beaches and impose further public restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.
White House officials have also warned about new reports from Europe showing that young people could be at a higher risk for coronavirus than initially believed.
Speaking on ABC’s Good Morning America, Dr. Jerome Adams said influencers like Kylie Jenner, Kevin Durant, and Donovan Mitchell play an important role in getting the message out to millennials.
“We need to get our social media influencers out there and helping folks understand that, look, this is serious. This is absolutely serious. People are dying,” Dr. Adam said Thursday. He added that new data from Italy show that younger people may be at higher risk than originally thought.
“But think about your grandmother, think about your grandfather, think about the fact you’re spreading a disease which could ultimately be what kills them.”
Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams on millennials and the coronavirus: “We need to get our social media influencers out there and helping folks understand that look this is serious.” https://t.co/M1e2wFmU6F pic.twitter.com/FNjZB12mKK
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 19, 2020
Prominent pop stars including Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, and Justin Bieber have already used their social media platforms to urge their young fans to practice social distancing and avoid groups of more than 10 people. “It is incredibly dangerous and selfish to take this situation that lightly,” Grande wrote on Instagram.
But some entertainment figures are failing to set a good example. Model Kaia Gerber appeared to contradict her earlier claim to engage in “social distancing” by reportedly spending the day strolling through Los Angeles with her celebrity friends. Filmmaker Paul Schrader complained on Facebook that his new movie was halted, saying that he would have preferred to complete the project even though an actor tested positive for coronavirus.
This week, large groups of young people have ignored federal and local government orders to practice social distancing, with some partying on Florida beaches.
One Spring breaker has gone viral for all the wrong reasons, telling reporters during his recent trip to Miami, Florida, “If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not gonna let it stop me from partying. You know, I’ve been waiting, we’ve been waiting for Miami spring break for a while, about two months we’ve had this trip planned.”
“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
As the coronavirus continues to spread, more celebrities are putting their influencer statuses to use by urging fans to heed the government’s warnings.
Kylie Jenner recently encouraged her nearly 32 million Twitter followers to practice self-quarantining. “It’s so important right now to self quarantine to ensure we aren’t endangering ourselves or anyone who can’t handle this virus,” she wrote on Tuesday.
i hope everyone is feeling well! it’s so important right now to self quarantine to ensure we aren’t endangering ourselves or anyone who can’t handle this virus
— Kylie Jenner (@KylieJenner) March 18, 2020
NBA star Donovan Mitchell also told his Twitter followers to practice social distancing.
Practice Social Distancing…….
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) March 17, 2020