“These blanket lockdowns are not grounded in science,” she tweeted. “These arbitrary rules imposed by callous politicians are destroying lives. It is just wrong for small business owners to have [fought] so hard to keep their American dream alive.”
Ms Trump shared a video alongside her tweet in which a business owner yells at health inspectors who were sent to issue him a citation for flouting closure orders.
Commenters pointed out that while the business owner was rightfully frustrated, the conditions that forced him to close his restaurant were largely due to President Trump’s inability to respond to the virus effectively.
“It will never stop amazing us that in the midst of the worst pandemic in a century, rather than turning to doctors and scientists, the closest advisors to the president were his fashion-brand owning daughter… This is why we need tighter nepotism laws”, the Citizens for Ethics organisation tweeted.
Justin Hendrix, a media research scientist at New York Univeristy’s Tandon School of Journalism, shared a similar sentiment.
“None of this would even be happening if you had listened to the scientists from the start … but you didn’t and now… hundreds of thousands are dead and things are happening in local communities that seem chaotic. Don’t blame them for the chain of events you started,” he wrote.
Ms Trump’s handle on what the scientific community has to say about lockdowns is questionable, at best.
Research published in The Lancet, a peer-reviewed health journal, explained that though lockdowns are damaging to the economy and public morale, when used by countries to buy time for a proper response to the pandemic, they have proven effective.
However, countries who squandered the time they bought during their lockdown periods “these effects have often been worse.”
The study noted that “in the absence of adequate provisions to manage the pandemic and its societal impacts, these countries have faced continuing restrictions.”
The study was published in mid-October.
Rather than simply calling for more lockdowns or for waiting on herd immunity – an idea the study calls “a dangerous fallacy unsupported by scientific evidence” – the researchers advocate for the implementation of financial and social programmes “that encourage community responses and address the inequities that have been amplified by the pandemic.”
The study noted that “continuing restrictions will probably be required in the short term, to reduce transmission and fix ineffective pandemic response systems, in order to prevent future lockdowns.”