As top infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci was making the Sunday show rounds to tell the public to temporarily avoid restaurants and bars amid the coronavirus crisis, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) was peddling a contrary and potentially dangerous message. During an appearance on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures With Maria Bartiromo, the California Republican said that there are a lot of economic concerns so people should support local business.
“If you’re healthy, you and your family, it’s a great time to go out and go to a local restaurant, likely you can get in easy,” Nunes stated. “Let’s not hurt the working people in this country...go to your local pub.”
Images around the country of St. Patrick’s Day revelers packing bars and pubs—despite the disease having now spread in all but one U.S. state—drew widespread criticism that many Americans were not taking the pandemic seriously. The coronavirus has already resulted in thousands of deaths worldwide and dozens within the United States. Local and state governments have begun implementing social distancing policies in order to mitigate the spread of the highly contagious disease.