Donald Trump may be on his way out of the White House, but the dangerous “fake news” narrative he spent his presidency spinning continues to corrode the country — and minds of millions, like the (unfortunately) influential Jake Paul.
The mega-influencer sat down with The Daily Beast to talk about his boxing career or something we definitely don’t care about when senior reporter Marlow Stern asked him about the coronavirus pandemic — which prompted the 23-year-old to claim that the COVID-19 crisis was a “hoax” and that “98% of news is fake.”
Yeah, it’s that kind of interview, y’all. Let’s dive in…
The comments came after Stern brought up the negative press the Disney alum got after throwing giant, maskless parties over the summer. When asked if he still had the same reckless sorry-not-sorry mentality, Paul said “it’s time for our nation to open up and go back to normal,” adding:
“There are people losing jobs, there are small businesses who are going bankrupt, there are millions of people who are unemployed right now, people are turning to alcohol and drugs to cope with everything that’s going on. This is the most detrimental thing to our society. COVID cases are at less than 1 percent, and I think the disease is a hoax.”
Ugh. No, Jake. Just… no!
Fortunately, Stern had actual information on his side and went on to school the YouTube prankster. The exchange went:
Stern: You think the disease is a hoax? It’s killed about 260,000 people so far this year.
Paul: Ugh. Yeah, and so has the flu.
No. The flu has only killed a fraction of that, and we also have a vaccine for the flu.
The flu kills between 20,000 and 70,000 people a year. And we have a mass-produced vaccine for it.
Don’t we have a vaccine for COVID?
Not yet. They’re hopeful we will soon. It’s been approved by the FDA based on early-stage trials but it hasn’t been introduced to the market yet. So they’re hopeful that there will be a vaccine out very soon, although distribution also poses a big problem. But I want to talk about why you think COVID is a “hoax.”
I don’t have to elaborate.
You don’t want to elaborate on that?
[Deep sigh] No.
Good call, Jake!
As it turned out, the athlete did elaborate later in the interview when Stern circled back to his thoughts on how people should be conducting themselves amid the ongoing pandemic. Jake mused:
“I think it depends. I think if someone’s at-risk, they should quarantine. Obviously, the coronavirus has killed people. I think if you’re at-risk, be careful. If you’re around people who are at-risk, be careful… But I think if you’re young, healthy, and don’t have any health issues, I don’t think anything should be different. These kids are losing out on education, they’re missing their graduations…”
And then he tipped his hand — he doesn’t care about education or anything else. For Jake Paul, it’s all about Jake Paul. He continued:
“Even this boxing match is something that could be 10 times more legendary and more fun if there was an audience able to attend. A hundred percent of our nation is shut down due to the 1 percent who’s at risk, so that’s what I meant about how COVID doesn’t make sense to me. It doesn’t add up. There’s something more behind it that the government’s not telling us, and to me it just sucks, because so many kids’ lives are being affected by this because we’re worried about the 1 percent who are gonna die. And it sucks. I don’t want those people to die, and nobody wants them to die, but it is the process of life. And s**t happens, so… I don’t know.”
The “process of life”? Just letting millions die?? Wow, how selfish can you get…
Again, fortunately, Stern responded to Paul’s half-baked conspiracy theories with logic and information. He said:
“There are a couple of issues here. When young people get this disease, even though they’re not dying at the same rate as older people, they’re still getting hospitalized, which then is overwhelming the health-care system and not providing beds or equipment to older people who seriously need it. They can also give it to others. And the other thing is, they did a study of Big Ten athletes who came down with COVID-19 and who had no previous cardiac issues, and they found that 15 percent of those people came down with myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart that can lead to cardiac arrest. So we don’t know the long-term impact that this can have on even younger people, so wouldn’t the best thing be for things to shut down, the government provide support for people, and everyone stay at home for a month or so?”
It’s clear those around Jake never actually question the BS he spews because those quick facts were enough to trip up the influencer and make him admit how very, very little he knows about the coronavirus. He shared:
“Um… I don’t know. I think that’s… that’s above my pay grade, and if it was something I would be in charge of, you know, I would make the right decision. But, um… I just don’t know. I don’t think anyone has the right answers, and I think that’s the issue: No one really knows what’s going on. But I guess that’s America in 2020.”
The interview got a bit heated from there, as Stern held his ground and Jake started to get defensive. They quarreled:
Stern: We do know what the health professionals have said, but you’re basically saying that you don’t trust what they’re saying?
Paul: Um… I don’t think we do know who the health professionals are. People like yourself, or people who go on Twitter and read articles all day, you know, 98 percent of news is fake, so how do we know what’s actually real, and what we’re actually supposed to do? I see people on Twitter complaining and being all upset, and saying this person knows this or that, but no one actually knows what to believe. Medical professionals have also said that masks do absolutely nothing to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
They have not said that in quite some time.
Yes they have. Yes they have. You’re arrogant. You’re very arrogant for saying that they haven’t said that.
I think you’re referring to a recent Danish study…
…No I’m not. I’m referring to dozens and dozens of my medical friends — doctors, people with PhDs — who say masks do absolutely nothing to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Not true. According to John’s Hopkins Medicine:
“Yes, face masks help prevent the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. If you are infected with the coronavirus and do not know it, a mask is very good at keeping your respiratory droplets and particles from infecting others. A mask can also be somewhat effective in preventing germs from getting into your nose and mouth that come from another person’s respiratory droplets.”
Jake’s interview ended on a sour note, with the influencer accusing the reporter of trying to come up with “clickbait.” Here’s how it concluded:
Stern: You’ve accused me of trying to come up with “clickbait” and a bunch of other stuff, but we’re just talking about your thoughts on things.
Paul: That’s what your faniacal [sic] reporter-brain tells you, but you know the truth of that. You know what I’m saying? You’re thriving off of this.
I’m thriving off of this?
Yeah. You love it. You’re having the best day ever right now, because of this interview.
Marlow ended the interview with the shady jab back:
Oh, I don’t know about that.
Yeah, talking to someone in that much of a bubble is not a picnic. And despite what these easily influenced lemmings think, journalists aren’t these ludicrous agents of chaos just looking for clickbait. Most care about getting the actual right information out there.
This is the end result of years of Trump attacking the media, popularizing the term “Fake News” and calling the press “the enemy of the people.” His goal in doing so was simply to sow doubt in their very accurate reporting of the shady business he had been involved with and the even shadier business he was about to get up to in office. And it partially worked, as we know — despite reporting on the President’s affairs, numerous accusations of sexual misconduct, scam charity organization, tax schemes, welcoming of foreign election interference, obstruction of justice, etc, etc, etc, people still support him. How? Because they just don’t believe it. Heck, they don’t even believe he lost the election! Why? Because the TV said it. And the TV is evil, ooooooh.
The result has been the breakdown of our society’s ability to disperse information at a time when it matters more than ever before. The simple instructions to social distance and wear a mask to help prevent the spread of a deadly virus are being written off by dummies like this as “a hoax.”
This is a look inside the mind of someone who thinks the coronavirus is fake, Perezcious readers. Pray for him.
[Image via Instar/WENN]
Originally published at https://perezhilton.com/jake-paul-coronavirus-hoax-schooled-interview/ on .