Gyming to traveling abroad, US politicians defy their own coronavirus guidelines even as pandemic spreads rapidly

President Trump and some of his administration members continue to shake hands with people despite public health officials warning against this


                            Gyming to traveling abroad, US politicians defy their own coronavirus guidelines even as pandemic spreads rapidly
(Getty Images)
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Multiple political leaders are reportedly flouting advice and rules set amidst the coronavirus lockdown in various states across the US. From President Donald Trump continuing to shake hands with leaders and acquaintances to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flying amid widespread restrictions, the leaders do not seem to be adhering to the rules set by their own government.

Pompeo reportedly flew to Afghanistan this week despite the State Department advising against all international travel because of the rapid spread of the deadly novel coronavirus infection in the country.

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With gyms across Washington shuttered amid the lockdown guidelines, Senator Rand Paul, an eye doctor, went to the Senate on March 22 morning for a workout as he awaited his coronavirus test results. Reports state that the senator's results came positive. 

Sen. Rand Paul  (Getty Images)

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Meanwhile, President Trump and some of his administration members continue to shake hands with people despite public health officials warning against bodily contact, which could facilitate the spread of the virus.

The administration also continues with daily White House briefings, involving Trump and other senior officials to gather together and crowd around a podium flouting social distancing directives. 

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According to certain human behavior experts, the "do as I say, not as I do" ethos appears to be on display among powerful officials in the country, who may think that they do not have to follow rules which apply to the general public, the Daily Mail reported.

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A professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Maurice Schweitzer, in a statement said: "When we have high power, we think of ourselves as exceptional as if the rules don't apply to us." Schweitzer has researched behavior and decision-making.

"We're much more prone to do what we want because we don't feel constrained in the way that less powerful people do," the professor added.

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The administration also continues with daily White House briefings, involving Trump and other senior officials to gather together and crowd around a podium flouting social distancing directives (Getty Images)

The State Department released a statement attempting to justify Pompeo's international trip, saying it was necessary and urgent because of political turmoil in Afghanistan. US officials fear that the current violence could hamper the recent US-Taliban peace deal that calls for the withdrawal of American troops from the country.

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Reports state that staff traveling with Pompeo had their temperatures taken and were given bags containing face mask, hand sanitizer, bleach wipes, and mini-disposable thermometers. A medical official from the department told reporters that Pompeo and his staff will not be quarantining themselves because Afghanistan is not considered a high-risk country for the novel coronavirus and that his movements on his trip were controlled. 

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The US, as of March 26, has seen over a thousand deaths and more than 63,000 cases across the country. The latest figures showed that New York, which is considered the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the US, now has at least 50 percent of the total confirmed coronavirus cases in the nation - 30,800 confirmed cases and 366 deaths. Meanwhile, Washington, which was initially considered the epicenter of the outbreak, now has 2,588 confirmed cases and 132 deaths. While California has reported 3,158 cases and 67 deaths, Texas has 1,155 cases and 15 deaths, and Florida is reporting 1,977 cases and 23 fatalities.

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