People across social media were quick to brand Ivanka Trump as a “fake scientist” after she claimed Covid-19 lockdowns are “not grounded in science”.
Trump’s daughter and adviser retweeted a video on Tuesday of a restaurant owner’s reaction to being cited for staying open in California the face of a closure order.
“These blanket lockdowns are not grounded in science. These arbitrary rules imposed by callous politicians are destroying lives. It is just wrong for small business owners to have [to] fight so hard to keep their American dream alive.”
The backlash to Ivanka’s claim was swift, as the effectiveness of lockdowns has been proven time and time again as infections rise across America – and around the world.
As lockdowns are most effective when they are followed carefully by everyone, with America’s particularly lax coronavirus guidelines – Ivanka’s undermining is especially harmful.
And so the socialite-turned-advisor seems to be in contention with actual health professionals:
Ana Bento, an assistant professor at the School of Public Health at Indiana University Bloomington, told NPR that lockdowns are the “simplest, most blunt tool to break the chain of transmission,” which reduces the probability of people getting infected and lightens the load on the healthcare system.
“That’s the whole purpose of it,” Bento said.
Commenters on Twitter pointed out that while the business owner was unsurprisingly frustrated, the conditions that forced him to close his restaurant were largely because of mistakes Ivanka’s father’s administration made earlier this year.
“It will never stop amazing us that in the midst of the worst pandemic in a century, rather than turning to doctors and scientists, the closest advisors to the president were his fashion-brand owning daughter and her slumlord husband. This is why we need tighter nepotism laws,” Citizens for Ethics responded to her post.
“None of this would even be happening if you had listened to the scientists from the start... but you didn't and now... hundreds of thousands are dead and things are happening in local communities that seem chaotic. Don't blame them for the chain of events you started,” Justin Hendrix agreed.
Others called Ivanka’s claims “infuriating”, “callous” and referred to her as a “fake scientist” – pointing out that she has no scientific or medical background, and her claims are clearly only political.
At least the days of the Trump Administration ignoring scientists and experts are almost behind us.