Prominent Twitter users erupted in a series of controversy after an MSNBC health columnist broached the idea of canceling Thanksgiving and moving the winter break to prevent illness.
On Wednesday, Dr. Esther Chu, a professor of emergency medicine at Oregon Health & Science University, offered her thoughts on how to prevent respiratory illnesses, such as COVID-19 and RSV, during the holiday season.
I tweeted for “many reasons” Thanksgiving should be abolished, winter holidays should be moved to summer, and winter holidays should be made more leisurely or relaxing.
Additionally, Chu touted several benefits of such a move, including no “bad holiday-themed sweaters,” avoiding snowy winter holiday travel, and the fact that you simply don’t have to “endure” Thanksgiving.
It was not immediately clear to other social media accounts if Zhou was joking about her proposals, prompting a flurry of heated responses and arguments over the proposed holiday agenda change.
The Heritage Foundation’s director of media and public relations, John Cooper, tweeted, “May I suggest… no.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, director of rapid response Christina Bocho, made her own proposal, requesting that “public health tyrants be abolished” instead.
DeSantis’ deputy press secretary also criticized the proposal.
“I can’t tell if you’re kidding,” said Benjamin Ryan, a contributor to The New York Times and NBC News.
Some people agreed with the doctor’s comments.
“Can you call my mother about this,” asked Melody Schreiber, a health and science journalist.
Podcaster Josh Barro sparked a widespread controversy when he asked, “Just insert a weird bunch of strangers into MPH [master’s in public health] Or do MPH programs turn people into weirdos? ”
“Monitors fill the field of public health. This is what we have learned in the past three years,” replied Heroes of Liberty editor Bethany S. Mandel.
Medical toxicologist Ryan Marino gave a sinister response to Mandel, writing, “Public health experts know nothing, right-wing mommy bloggers are the real heroes.”
Mandel then fired back, calling Marino a “misogynistic doctor”, and apparently taking issue with his description of her credentials.
Despite the widespread rollback of COVID-19 measures, discussions about the best possible mitigation strategies for the future continue among government leaders, public health officials and members of the media.
Many major residential areas in the United States, including the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, have strongly recommended that residents hide indoors ahead of the holiday season.
The White House on Tuesday encouraged Americans to talk about the COVID-19 vaccine at the Thanksgiving table, insisting that widespread vaccination could prevent nearly every coronavirus death in the country.