In a Tuesday interview on Snapchat’s “Good Luck America” Dr. Fauci – the 79-year-old head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – appeared to endorse the use of dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Grindr in the age of social distancing.
Toward the end of the segment, host Peter Hamby asks Dr. Fauci: “If you’re swiping on a dating app like Tinder, or Bumble or Grindr, and you match with someone, and you’re just kind of like, ‘Maybe it’s fine if this one stranger comes over.’ What do you say to that person?”
Fauci responded, “You know, everybody has their own tolerance for risks, and it depends on the level of the interaction that you want to have.” He continued, “If you want to go a little bit more intimate, well, then that’s your choice regarding a risk.”
Fauci’s response contradicts his earlier espoused believes concerning mitigation and containment efforts.
About a month ago, Dr. Fauci joined Mark Zuckerberg for a livestreamed Facebook interview. In the interview, Fauci asked young people, particularly college-age students on spring break trips, to take coronavirus prevention seriously.
Fauci said, “Please understand that you will play a major role in ultimately containing this infection by not being careless and avoiding and not listening to the recommendations of physical separation.”
Now, in an about-face, Fauci encourages that same age group to partake in random hookups using apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Grindr. The rise of dating apps, particularly among young people, makes casual sex more easily accessible and more anonymous. Some health experts attribute recent surges in sexually transmitted infections to the growing popularity of these sorts of apps.
The prevalence of dating apps poses a unique threat to the spread of the novel coronavirus as well. The CDC believes coronavirus is predominantly spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Somewhat logically, intimacy only accelerates the exchange of these droplets and intimacy with anonymous individuals warrants even more alarm.
The global pandemic has forced communities across the country to suspend regular activities like going to work, joining in social gatherings, and attending church and school. The resulting blow to the United States economy has been devastating. This past week, another 5.2 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits bringing the total US unemployment to 22 million workers.
Dr. Fauci fails to comprehend the devastating realities of social distancing for countless American families and instead encourages Americans to partake in casual sex with random partners as they please.
Dr. Fauci’s dating app advice is not only dangerous; it could be deadly. He should be held accountable.