Republican Leader Tells People To Hang Out In Bars After Feds Warn People To Avoid Public Gatherings

Republican Devin Nunes and Dr. Anthony Fauci in composite image
Mark Wilson/Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Republican lawmaker Devin Nunes told Fox News viewers on Sunday not to panic over the coronavirus pandemic, but to head to their local pub and enjoy a night out instead. This advice directly contradicts the message from Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has repeatedly said that people should avoid going out in public unless necessary to help prevent the spread of the disease.

According to Mediaite, Nunes was speaking with Maria Bartiromo.

“We need to stop panicking here,” he began his advice.

He went on to say that seniors and people with underlying health conditions should stay at home and be safe. People should also avoid flooding stores to purchase supplies because there is plenty to go around, he added. But the rest of the population, he says, should head out to restaurants and other places to socialize.

A lot of people are afraid to go out, he says, because of the pandemic, particularly since it appears to be spread by people who aren’t showing any symptoms.

“If you’re healthy, you and your family it’s a great time to just go out, go to a local restaurant, likely you can get in easily. Let’s not hurt the working people in this country that are relying on wages and tips to keep their small business going,” he said, adding that people shouldn’t be going to the grocery store and emptying shelves.

Instead, he says, “go to your local pub.”

This message is directly opposed to the one sent by Fauci, who is a longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He told CNN’s Brianna Keilar that he’d like to see a sort of voluntary lockdown where people avoid going to places to gather socially.

“Would you like to see a national lockdown?” she asked.

“I would like to see a dramatic diminution of the personal interaction we see in restaurants and in bars. Whatever it takes to do that, that’s what I’d like to see,” he responded.

Fauci’s statement is on that he has made repeatedly in recent days. He also told Chuck Todd on Meet the Press that people should avoid bars and restaurants where community spread of the COVID-19 virus is more likely to happen.

He said the same thing to Margaret Brennan on Face the Nation, saying that he personally wouldn’t go to a restaurant because it could mean contracting or spreading the disease to vulnerable individuals, or being forced to miss work because of the necessity to self-quarantine if he is exposed. He doesn’t advocate making an official pronouncement of that nature, however.