Right-wing influencers love to argue and debate about exactly how effective various measures are at preventing the spread of COVID-19. Ben Shapiro just took this to the most illogical extreme possible.
There are anti-vax activists who insist that vaccination won’t prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Though they lack nuance, they’re not entirely wrong — vaccination can only drastically reduce the risk of transmission, not prevent it with 100% certainty, and vaccination may not be as effective if the virus keeps being allowed to mutate. However, these claims dodge the most important points: vaccination is the best tool we have for reducing both deaths and transmissions.
Anti-mask activists like to cite various sources saying that a cloth mask won’t prevent a wearer from catching COVID-19, carefully sidestepping the fact that this strawman was never the claim — rather, experts have said that using a cloth mask reduces the amount of infectious material expelled with microscopic droplets, and thus reduces the risk of the mask-wearer infecting others. Promoting better masks to reduce transmission of the Omicron variant doesn’t really negate any of that.
However, Ben Shapiro may be the first right-wing media personality to come forward with full-blown don’t-stay-home-when-sick activism. That’s right — in the clip below, shared by Media Matters for America journalist Jason Campbell, Shapiro actually declares that there’s not really any point to staying home when ill, because doing so won’t prevent your friends from getting sick.
Ben Shapiro tells sick people not to quarantine: "You staying home is not going to prevent your friends from getting Omicron" pic.twitter.com/5Vgxq8ipoM
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) January 24, 2022
“If you are sick then you should probably stay home. When I say probably, I gotta be honest with you, I don’t know why. I really don’t know why. Unless you are seriously ill, I don’t understand why you would stay home at a point when everyone will get Omicron. Everyone. You staying home is not going to prevent your friends from getting Omicron, ’cause they all have Omicron, because everyone is positive with Omicron at this point.”
Incidentally, if you’re sick with a cold or “mild virus,” contrary to Shapiro’s claims, your co-workers or schoolmates will probably appreciate it if you stay home and don’t infect them.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com