American billionaire David Geffen became the target of online criticism on Saturday after sending well-wishes to his 84,000-plus Instagram followers from the comfort of his luxurious superyacht in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Sunset last night… isolated in the Grenadines avoiding the virus. I’m hoping everybody is staying safe,” the Geffen Records founder and DreamWorks Pictures co-founder wrote in a since-deleted post.
The 77-year-old’s caption was accompanied by an aerial shot of his US$590-million, 454-foot vessel, which he calls “Rising Sun,” according to Forbes.
However, what may have seemed to be a message of concord to Geffen was seen as “insensitive” by many others concerned about the worldwide threat of the novel coronavirus.
In wake of seeing the post, Meghan McCain of The View took to Twitter, dubbing Geffen’s post “shameful and grotesque.”
“David Geffen is worth $8 billion,” she wrote. “For God’s sake, help this country get ventilators, our health workers masks and the medical supplies they need! Or no, just stay on your f–king yacht Instagramming.”
Music video director and producer Robby Starbuck also jumped on the social media platform.
“David Geffen’s thought process: ‘Hey you know what, millions are losing their jobs, can’t pay their rent and they’re worried about a deadly pandemic, I bet they’d love to know how I’m doing,'” he wrote. “‘Fire up the copter so we can take some more pics of my yacht! They’ll love this!!!'”
Here’s what some other Twitter users had to say:
“I now understand why Neil Young, Glenn Frey and so many other musicians hated working with David Geffen and being on his label,” another user wrote about the record mogul.
Geffen did not publicly address the backlash, however he made his Instagram account private over the weekend.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.
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