Rep. Michelle Steel (R-CA) joked during a recent interview that having COVID-19 is a “very good way to lose weight.”
What happened: The 65-year-old Republican politician made the comment during an interview with the South Orange County Economic Coalition as part of its “Meet Your Newly Elected Officials” program on Jan. 22.
- After being asked about her plans for the next two years, Steel mentioned stopping Obamacare. She then talked about the COVID-19 pandemic.
- “I went through this COVID for [the] last two weeks… I lost few weights. It’s a very good way to lose your weight,” she joked at the 19:32 mark of the interview on YouTube.
- Her comment did not sit well with viewers. Some social media users called her out for the remarks, especially since the United States has more than 25.8 million total cases as of the time of writing.
— Cineaste_C (@Cineaste_C) January 23, 2021
How insensitive can one person be? The loved ones lying in ground due to Covid have definitely lost alot of weight.
— scribegirl (@Calmasacuke) January 24, 2021
How disrespectful to all those who lost loved ones due to COVID.
— HB Huddle (@HB_Huddle) January 23, 2021
This is gross and disgusting. Shame @RepSteel .
— OKAY (@oskeydoskey) January 23, 2021
Disgusting lack of compassion for the 2000 plus OC residents who died. Heartless woman
— Janice T (@reallyJanice) January 25, 2021
@SpeakerPelosi this is cruel and inappropriate plz censure this uninformed view of Covid.
— Pamela (@925studio) January 23, 2021
@RepSteel Glad you lost weight with COVID. I lost 2 family members with COVID. Shame on you.
— Scott Robinson (@scott_erobinson) January 25, 2021
Changing her mind: Steel, who once expressed skepticism about the mask mandate in Orange County, tested positive on Jan. 6.
- The politician did not show any symptoms after she tested positive, but a physician advised her to quarantine herself to protect her colleagues.
- Although she initially had doubts about the mask mandate, Steel changed her mind last July. She then encouraged everyone in Orange County to wear a mask.
— Michelle Steel (@MichelleSteelCA) July 11, 2020
- Steel is one of the first three Korean women to be elected to Congress. Republican party member Young Kim and Rep. Marilyn Strickland (D-Wash.) were also sworn in.