The former top leader of the Republican National Committee has issued a no holds barred warning about the ongoing pandemic for supporters of President Donald Trump who are "being stupid" about the virus.
Michael Steele's alarm-sounding comes in the wake of prominent Black Republican Herman Cain's death of the virus following his attendance at Trump's Tulsa rally last month, which was held in defiance of public health recommendations.
The comments came during Steele's appearance on the MSNBC show The Reid Out on Thursday.
Republican Michael Steele goes off on Trump loving coronavirus deniers, in the wake of Herman Cain's death from the… https://t.co/eppSmjgPSs— モノリシック (@モノリシック) 1596152800.0
Speaking with host Joy Reid, Steele, who called Cain "a buddy of mine," was nonetheless unsparing in his words for his fellow Republicans, many of whom refuse to take precautions against the disease and still maintain it's a hoax.
"The reality of it is for those who don't think this is serious, those who think this is some made-up China virus that was imported into the country, you know, live in that bubble and you will die in that bubble. That's all that can be said."Cain, a former Republican presidential candidate and vocal supporter of President Trump, attended the Tulsa rally as a representative of the so-called "Black voices for Trump," and proudly tweeted photos of him and other Black Trump supporters sitting maskless in the rally crowd.
Here’s just a few of the #BlackVoicesForTrump at tonight’s rally! Having a fantastic time! #TulsaRally2020… https://t.co/E0v2PpYxp9— The Cain Gang (@The Cain Gang) 1592696982.0
Cain passed away of the virus yesterday.
Health officials in Tulsa have since said the rally Cain attended "likely contributed" to a spike of virus cases shortly afterward, including a reporter, multiple members of Trump's secret service detail and his son Donald Trump Jr.'s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle.
Nonetheless, even as cases and deaths skyrocket in so-called "red states" like Texas, which voted for Trump by a margin of nine points, the President's supporters have continued to vocally insist the pandemic is a hoax—including denying that Cain's death was the result of the virus. Or spouting easily disproven conspiracy theories about his death.
And it's safe to say Steele has had enough of the right's bizarre stubbornness.
He went on to issue a fiery castigation of his Republican compatriots.
"Folks, we cannot—we cannot stop you from being stupid. We put the information out there. We've tried to educate and inform."
"We've got the best and brightest scientists in the country summarily dismissed by this administration and particularly the President. You know what the realities are, you've had family members and friends that have been sick and dying since it began."
"I can't help your stupidity at this point, that's your risk, it won't be mine."
"Wear the d*mn mask."
On Twitter, people were firmly on Steele's side and applauded him for speaking plainly.
@MidwinCharles @TiffanyDCross @MichaelSteele @thereidout pretty much never agree with an R on anything, but yeah, hard to dispute facts .— hayley a stein (@hayley a stein) 1596152187.0
Michael Steele with the win! https://t.co/cw5ryKKDzG— Walter M. Kimbrough (@Walter M. Kimbrough) 1596152565.0
@thereidout @MichaelSteele I love that Michael has zero effs left to give...🤣— Kate Counter (@Kate Counter) 1596154826.0
@thereidout @MichaelSteele Love u Michael! Never thought I would say that as a life long Democrat! Welcome to the… https://t.co/ayPQ2t95rH— L (@L) 1596155562.0
@MidwinCharles @TiffanyDCross @MichaelSteele @thereidout He’s right. Not too often I can say that I agree with him.— It's Dr. Vicki (@It's Dr. Vicki) 1596152209.0
@RawStory It’s a case of natural selection. People like Herman Cain will make this virus last longer my sympathies… https://t.co/xKDyI65Wqg— Edward ODonnell (@Edward ODonnell) 1596155455.0
"We cannot stop you from being stupid." is the long form of Bless Your Heart and now I know what is the appropriat… https://t.co/E3cfZQdMEg— faren ann (@faren ann) 1596208705.0
@RawStory https://t.co/d0L508hrPp— 🌸🌼🌸🌼🌸 (@🌸🌼🌸🌼🌸) 1596154279.0
I concur. https://t.co/NbJfW1CTkn— BroTheo (@BroTheo) 1596155823.0
Michael Steele is just over it. He's done. https://t.co/gQNqyrJ3VV— First Amendment Girl 🇺🇸 (@First Amendment Girl 🇺🇸) 1596152167.0
Prominent health officials have said the US could combat the pandemic in just 4-6 weeks if everyone would agree to wear a mask. The United States is currently the world leader in virus cases and deaths.