President Donald Trump shared a message from members of the coronavirus response team talking about how important social distancing is to limit the spread of COVID-19. In the clip, coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams and NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci all offer guidance on how to best flatten the curve.
"Social distancing is what we refer to when we ask people to stay at least six feet apart," Birx said, with Adams adding that people should "[stay] away from people whom you might get coronavirus from or who are at high risk and whom you might spread coronavirus to." Fauci suggested, "You can socially distance yourself from people in social settings by not going to bars, not going to restaurants, not going to theaters where there are a lot of people. It all just means physical separation so that you have a space between you and others who might actually be infected or might infect you."
Trump shared the message from the experts with the caption, "SOCIAL DISTANCING!" on Thursday morning, just ahead of a planned press conference from him and the rest of the task force to give updates on the latest.
Social media had a wide response to Trump's tweet; continue on to see what people are saying about it.
Plenty of Twitter users found fault in Trump's message, with one telling him to "stop shouting" and to focus on getting resources to those who need them amid the public health crisis.
stop shouting, you chicken-fried popinjay. where is the web site you promised? where are the hospital ships? where are the ventilators? where are the masks? where are the test kits? where is the leadership— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) March 19, 2020
Likewise, some called for the mass production of coronavirus tests and masks.
START MASS PRODUCING TESTS AND MASKS NOW!— Chris B (@ChrisBEsq) March 19, 2020
Others criticized the message for using the widely accepted term "social distancing," arguing that instead it should be called "physical distancing" in order to encourage people to reach out to friends and family through social media and various technologies.
“Physical distancing” is the correct term. You don’t have to “socially” distance yourself. You can still be “social” on social media. Stop using this social distancing.— Scott Dworkin (@funder) March 19, 2020
But others praised the president for his messaging, with one Twitter user writing that they're glad to see him sharing facts from experts.
Social distancing is important and I agree with this message. I would much rather Trump tweet out these kinds of things that are educational rather than resorting to scapegoating.— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) March 19, 2020
Some pointed out that social distancing needs to be enforced in popular spring break destinations, especially after partygoers in Miami made headlines. "If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I'm not going to let it stop me from partying," partygoer Brady Sluder told Reuters on Wednesday.
The "social distance" needs to be the new spring break dance craze.#ChinaVirus— PlayTheTrumpCard ⚡️ Text TRUMP to 88022 (@PlaysTrumpCard) March 19, 2020
Others took the opportunity to urge their peers to follow directions from Trump and other leaders asking people to keep their distance.
We should remember this moment in history. As a species we are banding together to fight a common enemy, that isn’t our fellow man. Our children will remember this moment. Our children will tell our children about this moment. We must all do our part to flatten curve— ♻️🇺🇸 Christopher Zullo (@ChrisJZullo) March 19, 2020
Some praised the healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic working to flatten the curve and stop the spread.
THE REAL HEROES. pic.twitter.com/vCQqyfs7uJ— Phillip- Remove All Republicans (@Phillip2020Vote) March 19, 2020
Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla / Staff / Getty