Surgeon General Asks Kylie Jenner, Other Influencers to Speak Out About Seriousness of Coronavirus
The doctor also called upon basketball stars Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell to continue to urge millenials to stay home
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams is calling on social media influencers like Kylie Jenner to use their platform to get teens and millennials to understand the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Thursday, Adams appeared on Good Morning America where he discussed with the show’s anchors how young people need to start taking the virus seriously as it continues to spread across the globe.
“I have a 15 and a 14-year-old and the more I tell them not to do something the more they want to do it,” he explained to co-host Michael Strahan.
“We need to get our influencers — Kevin Durant, Donovan Mitchell — we need to get Kylie Jenner, and our social media influencers out there helping folks understand that this is serious, this is absolutely serious, people are dying,” he said.
“Think about your grandmother, think about your grandfather,” Adams added of millennials. “Think about the fact that you’re spreading disease, which could ultimately be what kills them.”
Donovan and Durant — who both tested positive for the virus — have been vocal about their experience, and Jenner and the rest of the Kardashian family have also been active in urging people to stay home amid the pandemic.
“I hope everyone is feeling well! it’s so important right now to self quarantine to ensure we aren’t endangering ourselves or anyone who can’t handle this virus,” Jenner, 22, tweeted Tuesday.
Earlier this week, Kim Kardashian West implored her fans to “take the directive to stay home seriously” and to “not ignore the severity of the warnings to stay inside.”
“Please everyone, especially people who are young and healthy, pls take the directive to stay home seriously if you care about the health and safety of your mom, father, grandparents, sisters, brothers, children and community,” she wrote on her Instagram Story.
“Unless you are leaving your home to go to work, restock on necessary food and essentials, to see your doctor or to help someone in need such as an elderly neighbor, please do not ignore the severity of the warnings to stay inside to stop the spread of this virus,” she continued. “Also a reminder that this virus does not discriminate against race, age, gender, etc. This applies to us all and we will get through this together. Sending everyone lots of love and keeping everyone in my family’s prayers.”
Kim’s shapewear brand, SKIMS, is also doing its part to help those in need during the turbulent time.
The company will be donating 20 percent of its profits to Baby2Baby’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Program to provide basic essentials to children in need.
As of Thursday afternoon, at least 149 deaths in the country have been attributed to COVID-19, the New York Times reported, with more than 10,000 people testing positive.
Worldwide, there have been at least 221,000 cases and 9,200 deaths as of Thursday afternoon, according to the Times.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.