Dr. Peter Hotez worried that COVID-19 infections could rise after the massive box office success over the weekend by “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer.”
The virologist commented on the remarkable success of the two films ushering in the largest movie-going crowds since 2019 with “Avengers: Endgame.” Although this was considered great news for the entertainment industry, Hotez cautioned that the large numbers could produce a coronavirus “bump.”
“Not to be a Debbie Downer…but anyone worried about a post-BarbieBoxOffice Covid bump? Or post-Oppie? We’ll probably never know since no one seems to be keeping track of such things anymore. Keep up with your boosters and find a pink N-95 or KN-95 if you can,” Hotez tweeted on Sunday.
Hotez frequently served as the go-to medical expert during the pandemic for mainstream media outlets such as CNN and MSNBC. He has since faced intense criticism for pushing controversial COVID-19 mitigation techniques such as masking children and discouraging in-person learning for schools.
His tweet reiterating the need for masking reignited attacks against him on Twitter.
“The media’s favorite medical expert. Well done, team,” The Spectator contributing editor Stephen Miller joked.
Texas State Rep. Jeff Leach wrote, “No. No normal, rational person is worried about this. It must be really sad to constantly live in such a warped state of fear.”
“I am not worried about that, no, because it’s not 2020,” The Bulwark culture editor Sonny Bunch tweeted.
Washington Examiner columnist Tim Carney remarked, “They’re still at it. There’s no limiting principle to their fear-peddling anti-social dogma.”
“People like this should have never had a role in setting public policy, much less be put in charge of it,” conservative personality AGHamilton commented.
“The only thing you’re worried about is going away,” Substack writer Jim Treacher remarked.
In June, Twitter CEO Elon Musk and podcast host Joe Rogan pushed for Hotez to debate Democratic candidate and noted vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., over the efficacy of vaccines. For his part, Rogan offered $100,000 to the charity of Hotez’s choice if he would appear with Kennedy on his podcast.
Hotze agreed to appear on Rogan’s podcast but refused to debate Kennedy. He later explained his response to MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan.
“I have a new book coming out that basically says 200,000 Americans needlessly perished, because they believed the anti-vaccine disinformation and refused to take a COVID vaccine during our Delta wave and BA.1 Omicron wave in 2021-22 after vaccines were widely available,” Hotez, who has also appeared on Fox News, said to Hasan.
“So the point is anti-vaccine disinformation, it’s always done a lot of damage and harm, but now it’s a lethal force in the United States, and that’s why we have to have that discussion. And I offered to come and go on Joe Rogan again,” he added. “I’ve been on a couple of times and have that discussion with it, but not to turn it into the Jerry Springer Show with having RFK Jr on.”