Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg criticized the administration of President Donald Trump for his management of the coronavirus pandemic during a video chat with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading US infectious disease expert.
Speaking to Fauci in a live Facebook video on Thursday, Zuckerberg said some coronavirus outbreaks were “preventable” and criticized the administration for “questioning” whether people should wear masks.
“Our government and administration have been much less effective in handling this,” said Zuckerberg, comparing the recent increase in American cases to other countries that have seen new cases fall.
“You know, I was certainly sympathetic at first when it was clear that there would be outbreaks, no matter how we handle it,” said Zuckerberg.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (left) criticized the Trump administration’s management of the coronavirus pandemic during a video chat with Dr. Anthony Fauci (right)
“But now that we’re here in July, I just think it was avoidable and it’s really disappointing that we still don’t have adequate testing, that the credibility of the best scientists like you and the CDC is being undermined, and that until recently, certain parts of the administration wondered if people should even follow basic best practices such as wearing masks, ”he continued.
Fauci responded by acknowledging that the recent surge in parts of the country was “really very worrying,” noting that other regions, such as New York, had made great strides in containing the epidemic.
A number of states, including Florida, Arizona, Texas and California, have seen new cases increase rapidly in recent weeks.
Texas set a new single-day coronavirus death record on Thursday, reporting 129 new deaths, with July being by far the deadliest month of the pandemic.
In conversation with Zuckerberg, Fauci implored the youngest to continue to distance themselves from society and take other measures to limit the spread of the virus.
“Please take social responsibility to be part of the solution, not the problem,” he said.
“You must have responsibility for yourself, but also the social responsibility that you are infected with is not only you in a vacuum. You are spreading the pandemic, ”he said.
Social media platforms, including Facebook, which removed “pseudoscience” as an option for advertisers in April, have been criticized for allowing the spread of false information about the pandemic, from false treatment to conspiracy theories to large ladder.
In the United States, new cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, rose to more than 60,000 a day, from a daily total of less than 20,000 in May.
The median age of those infected has dropped by about 15 years as young people, many of whom may have few symptoms of illness, become infected, said Fauci.
Vice President Mike Pence warned last month that almost half of the new cases in the United States were people under the age of 35, particularly in Florida and Texas.
Fauci warned that even asymptomatic people can spread the coronavirus to others, increasing the likelihood that the virus will infect a more vulnerable person.
He said some states have made progress in reopening, even if they don’t follow guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In other states, “citizens … put caution to the wind,” he said, citing photos of people gathering in bars without covering their faces.
“We have to regroup,” said Fauci, noting that some regions of the country are much less at risk than others.
He urged people to wear face covers, avoid crowds, maintain social distance and remember that it is always better to be outside than to be inside.
“We have to look at public health measures as a vehicle or a gateway to revive the economy,” he said.