Please Ignore Devin Nunes' Advice on Social Distancing and the Coronavirus

Posted: Mar 16, 2020 1:05 PM

Last time I mentioned Congressman Devin Nunes, it was in the context of covering a DOJ Inspector General report that largely vindicated the California Republican's widely-dismissed memo regarding the Russia probe and FISA abuses. He was broadly correct on the relevant points, and his mendacious Democratic counterpart was wrong. But a public official's correctness on one subject does not necessarily translate to others, so I'd invite you to very much ignore the advice he gave on Fox News during a Sunday morning interview, regarding social interactions during the coronavirus pandemic:

Nobody wants to hurt working people and service industry employees, which is why folks are figuring out creative ways to help local businesses during this difficult period of time. But the problem is that a lot of people who think they're healthy actually are not. Allow me to once again share this simulation, as well as this illustration of the problem:

This is why multiple foreign countries who are "ahead" of the US in terms of the virus' trajectory have now entered near-total social lockdowns. The governments of Italy, Spain and Israel aren't imposing such restrictions for fun. And now some American jurisdictions are adopting increasingly similar approaches. The admirable and correct post-9/11 mentality of getting out there is contributing to the economy to demonstrate solidarity and lack of fear doesn't apply in this circumstance. We're talking about a highly-contagious disease that has a death rate ten times higher than the common flu. People in positions of power and influence should know better, which is why Nunes' comments (and similar sentiments from figures ranging from the Republican Governor of Oklahoma to leftist commentators like Matthew Dowd) are so irresponsible. This is amusing but true:

May I remind you that the true numbers are much higher than the "official" statistics, which will start catching up when testing becomes far more widespread within the next few days:

Many, many of the people who unknowingly have coronavirus at the moment aren't feeling sick. They are still contagious. That's why I wrote this post late last week. Apparent overreactions today won't look that way in the very near future. I embedded this clip in my post earlier, but please re-watch it and contrast its message with what Nunes and others have been saying. Dr. Fauci is President Trump's well-respected, hand-picked expert on this pandemic. His opinion is flat-out more informed and more important than others'. Pay attention to him: