A CNN medical analyst used the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as a segue to praise the country for its high rate of mask-wearing during an appearance Thursday morning.
Dr. Jonathan Reiner appeared on CNN to react to the news that President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms. Dr. Reiner made the pitch that the U.S. needs to return to widespread masking, and used the killing of Shinzo Abe to transition into a comparison between Americans’ behavior during the pandemic and that of the Japanese.
“I’ll point out that Japan has been in the news recently because of the tragic death of the former prime minister, but Japan is a country of 140 million people,” Dr. Reiner said. “That’s about 40% the size of the United States, but they’ve had 30,000 deaths. So it’s a country 40% the size of the United States with only 3% of the mortality for COVID.”
Dr. Reiner said that because COVID-19 vaccines are primarily for preventing severe illness and death, and aren’t particularly effective at stopping infection, other mitigation efforts need to be reinstituted.
“And that’s because [Japan] has essentially universal masking,” he continued, referring to Japan. “They haven’t fought it, they continue to have that, and we need to get back to that kind of proactive mitigation in this country.”
In addition to having a strong culture of masking in place prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Japan is also an island nation which instituted strict border controls early on in the pandemic. (RELATED: Photo Allegedly Shows Homemade Gun Used To Kill Former Japanese Prime Minister)