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CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner on Sunday condemned journalist and author Bari Weiss for saying she was “done with COVID” after nearly two years. Speaking to anchor Jim Acosta, Reiner said of Weiss’ remarks, “She needs to grow up, because she’s acting like a child.”
Weiss had let loose her frustration with the failure to return to normal life in a Friday appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher. “I’m done with COVID. I’m done. I went so hard on COVID,” she told Maher. “I sprayed the Pringles cans I bought at the grocery store. Stripped my clothes off because I thought COVID would be on my clothes. I did it all.”
Weiss called it “ridiculous” that the vaccine for the coronavirus hadn’t brought about a complete return to pre-pandemic times. “This is going to be remembered by the younger generation as a catastrophic moral crime,” she added. The journalist said that many of her “liberal and progressive” friends agreed with her but were afraid to say so out of fear that they might be “smeared” as anti-vaxxers, Trump supporters, or “science-deniers.”
On Saturday, Reiner tweeted out an acerbic response to Weiss. “I’m glad she’s done with it but 3600 Americans died yesterday and over 860k have died in the last 2 years,” he wrote. “Yes you were told that vaccines would bring us out of this but 25% of this country refuse to vax. Grow up.”
Acosta made reference to Reiner’s “grow up” comment in Sunday’s interview, asking him about his reaction to the Real Time segment.
I’m sorry Bari Weiss is really inconvenienced by the pandemic and I’m glad she’s done with it but 3600 Americans died yesterday and over 860k have died in the last 2 years. Yes you were told that vaccines would bring us out of this but 25% of this country refuse to vax. Grow up. https://t.co/PDWVbJf83a
— Jonathan Reiner (@JReinerMD) January 22, 2022
“She needed to grow up, because she’s acting like a child,” Reiner clarified. “When you say you don’t want to play this game anymore, you’re going to take your ball and go home—you’re acting like a child.”
The analyst, also a professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University, expressed little sympathy for Weiss’ Pringles-related sacrifices. “Meanwhile, my colleagues in hospitals all around the country went in to care for people dying from this virus,” he told Acosta. “And continue to do that every single day… And for the first year of this pandemic, they did that without any protection of a vaccine. That’s the sacrifice they made.”
When people say “I’m done with this pandemic” what I hear is “I’ll be OK, you’re on your own”. https://t.co/sAMGasGqI6
— Jonathan Reiner (@JReinerMD) January 23, 2022
Reiner likened the pandemic-stricken U.S. to a waterlogged, sinking boat, with the race to protect people from the virus part of the effort to bail water out of the vessel. “And now we have people like Bari Weiss basically saying, ‘I’m done. I’m not bailing the water out anymore,’” he said. “And when somebody who is relatively young and relatively healthy says that, what they’re saying is: ‘I’ll be OK if I get this virus. Screw you. Doesn’t matter to me what happens to you.’ That’s the message I get from her.”
“Yeah, I’m done with that attitude, honestly,” Acosta replied. “I mean, she needs to understand that trolling people to ‘own the libs’ is not a sacrifice.”