Billionaire businesswoman and influencer Kylie Jenner responded late Thursday to the U.S. surgeon general’s request that she and other influencers step up to urge their young fans to take new coronavirus warnings seriously.
In a series of Instagram posts, Jenner, 22, shared stories that she had already been giving her millions of followers “daily reminders” about the importance of social distancing and self-quarantining, but was further encouraged by Surgeon General Jerome Adams' statements, which he made Thursday morning during an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“The coronavirus is a real thing,” she said. "He definitely encouraged me to come on here and talk to you guys, so you can see me and hear me,"
Jenner pleaded with her 166 million Instagram followers to “please stay inside."
"Practice social distancing, self-quarantine. If you live with your parents, you don’t want to go home, get your parents sick. You might have it and not even know and be infecting other people.”
Earlier that day, Adams told ABC prominent figures, such as Jenner and NBA stars, could be instrumental in helping younger people understand the severity of COVID-19 and the importance of taking the pandemic seriously.
“What I really think we need to do was get our influencers -- Kevin Durant, Donovan Mitchell, we need to get Kylie Jenner -- we need to get our social media influencers out there in helping folks understand, that look, this is serious.”
Adams made the plea just days after photos surfaced showing people, largely young adults, flocking to Florida beaches for their vacations and spring breaks.
At least 254,653 COVID-19 cases were reported worldwide as of noon Friday, with at least 14,250 of those in the United States, according to data provided by Johns Hopkins University and Medicine’s Coronavirus Resource Center.
“It’s serious and the only way that we’re gonna slow this down is if we do this since there’s not a cure right now,” Jenner continued. “Nobody’s immune to this. Millennials are not immune to this.
Before she ended her series of messages, she again encouraged other social media influencers “to also speak out and encourage [their] followers to also self-quarantine.”
On Tuesday, Jenner tweeted to her 31.9 million followers, writing: "it’s so important right now to self-quarantine to ensure we aren’t endangering ourselves or anyone who can’t handle this virus."