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Rudy Giuliani Had the Nerve to Offer Some Truly Ignorant COVID-19 Treatment “Advice”

Rudy Giuliani cringes while listening to a masked poll worker give testimony in Michigan.

Rudy Giuliani was released from the hospital Wednesday evening, a few days after Donald Trump announced via tweet that his lawyer had tested positive for COVID-19.

Before he left the hospital, Giuliani decided to do a talk radio interview in which he said that people can “overdo the mask” and encouraged “moderation” instead.

“I think you can overdo the masks, you can overdo almost anything,” he said. “Everything done in moderation makes much more sense. And what we’re doing to American business right now is disgraceful, and it’s not based on science.”

The CDC currently recommends “that people wear masks in public settings, like on public and mass transportation, at events and gatherings, and anywhere they will be around other people.” What part of that is “overdoing” anything? Maybe he was thinking about the poll worker sitting next to him in Michigan last week, giving testimony before the state’s House Oversight Committee. Giuliani asked her to remove her mask so he could hear her better. I don’t think she was “overdoing” it with that mask given that it turned out Giuliani was likely (and likely unknowingly) highly infectious at the time.

But wait! It gets worse! Giuliani went on to offer some more completely ignorant “advice.”

“My advice to people is: get early treatment,” he said. “The earlier you get treated for this, number one, you totally eliminate the chance of dying. And number two, you probably eliminate the chance of getting a, you know, more complicated illness.”

Yes, if I were to contract COVID-19, I would simply choose to get treated and not die.

Everything about this is infuriating. Rudy Giuliani, like Donald Trump, did not have the same experience other people with COVID-19 have.

He was given a cocktail of experimental drugs that the rest of us don’t have access to. He was admitted to a top hospital without having to worry about the cost, at a time when millions of people have lost their job in a country that ties those jobs to health insurance coverage (if they are fortunate enough to have a job that includes benefits in the first place).

Even people with great health insurance have had difficulty getting treatment for COVID-19. People with and without symptoms have been told to stay home, that there’s no room in the hospitals or no point in them being there if they don’t have life-threatening symptoms, especially in the early months of the pandemic.

On a personal note, Dr. Anthony Fauci talked yesterday about the sadness his youngest daughter felt when her boyfriend’s brother died earlier this summer. That person happens to have been my friend Chris. He was 32-year old and he was sent home from the hospital despite a positive COVID-19 test and symptoms resembling food poisoning. He died a few weeks later of a heart attack.

Chris was my friend but there are thousands more just like him–people who were turned away from receiving anything even close to the kind of treatment Giuliani got and who died as a result. Suggesting that people should just “get early treatment” is one of the most ignorant, out of touch things I’ve heard, maybe ever. For those of us who can’t get his kind of VIP medical treatment, there’s no such thing as “overdoing” masks or any other means of personal and public safety. and Giuliani (were he capable of such a feeling) should be ashamed to suggest otherwise.

(image: Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.