Infectious Disease Expert: Mt. Rushmore Event Is ‘The Behavior Of A Cult Leader’

Screengrab / CNN Replay / Facebook


“This is extremely dangerous behavior” and “people are really going to be harmed as a result of this.”

According to The Hill, Celine Gounder, a prominent infectious diseases specialist and epidemiologist, said Friday that President Trump’s Fourth of July celebration at Mount Rushmore is “beyond irresponsible” as the nation sees record-breaking outbreaks of the novel coronavirus.

  • Trump announced his plans to attend a fireworks display at Mount Rushmore on Friday, “where thousands are expected to gather without masks or social distancing requirements. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) also confirmed this week that social distancing would not be enforced at the event,” The Hill reported.
  • Gounder, who is CNN’s medical analyst, said she is “highly concerned” when asked what she thought of Trump’s celebration.

“This is beyond irresponsible,” Gounder said. “This is the behavior of a cult leader who is jumping off the cliff, except he's jumping off into a safety net where he has protections around him. People around him are being tested. He's being tested on a regular basis. While he asks his followers to jump off a cliff into nothing.”

  • Gounder and other health experts have “expressed concerns that the holiday celebrations will be a breeding ground for COVID-19 cases at a time when many states are seeing back-to-back days of record-breaking case numbers,” wrote The Hill.

“This is extremely dangerous behavior and unfortunately, this has become so politicized where you abide by public health and scientific recommendations on the basis of your political beliefs not based on the science. And people are really going to be harmed as a result of this,” Gounder added.


Read the report here.


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