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MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle was back on TV Monday, after spending two weeks in isolation while sick with COVID-19. She spent the opening moments of her show talking about how her bout with the virus showed her that the country’s system for dealing with it is severely lacking.
“We have a virus that is ravaging our country, and we need to do a whole lot more to stop it,” Ruhle said from her home at the top of her morning broadcast. “And as a person who is sick and scared, I am begging you, please take this seriously. It is not over.”
Ruhle said her husband woke up with a headache and minor sore throat before eventually testing positive on the day before Thanksgiving. They immediately isolated themselves in different places — him in their New York City apartment and her in their New Jersey home, away from their kids, who they pulled out of school. They knew Ruhle would likely be sick, too, and, sure enough, she tested positive and had symptoms of a “terrible flu” within a few days.
She acknowledged that her situation is extraordinary, and that she has the kind of privilege that many people don’t. Even so, Ruhle said she couldn’t locate some test results and was confused by her husband’s phone appointment with a doctor.
“This stress isn't unusual — it's the norm,” Ruhle said. “Across the country, Americans have raised the alarm for months about our haphazard testing and muddled guidelines. And the guidelines have shifted since the pandemic started. Is it any wonder that this spread continues? We’re all confused. I still don't know where we got COVID-19.”
— MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle (@RuhleOnMSNBC) December 7, 2020
Ruhle noted that her hairdresser was the one person who took her seriously when she told them she had the virus. That hairdresser had a much different experience than Ruhle, because she had to cancel all of her appointments for nearly two weeks, which meant she made no income.
“She waited three hours to get a test. A test that came back negative eight days later,” Ruhle said. “That’s what we’re asking America to do. Do you think millions of people are doing that for real? The answer is many of them are not.”
She said hourly workers who don’t feel well are continuing to go to work because they can’t afford to stay home, while their employers are looking the other way. They don’t want to lose money. None of this is helped, she said, when the CDC changes its guidelines, as it did last week. It’s now recommended that people exposed to the coronavirus quarantine for 10 days instead of 14.
“Millions cannot afford to deal with the virus,” Ruhle said. “And millions more refuse.”
She said that what’s most concerning is that the government is “doing very little to make these guidelines any easier to follow. The right thing is a lot easier the more privileged you are.”
She concluded, “The only way that we can get through this is to have a system that works for everyone, and after having [COVID-19], I know now — more than ever — we absolutely do not.”
For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides.
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