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Joyce Carol Oates slams Trump supporters for indifference to Covid


Berkeley professor and author Joyce Carol Oates sparks outrage by comparing Trump supporters with an ‘indifference’ to COVID to Germans who ‘ignored and profited from the Holocaust’ under Nazis

  • Author Joyce Carol Oates posted the eyebrow-raising tweet on Thursday 
  • She was responding to another tweet noting how many people are ‘shrugging off’ the pandemic despite the number of deaths to date
  • Oates implied Trump supporters were acting indifferently or even profiting off the pandemic, as some Germans did during the Holocaust 

By Maxine Shen For

Published: | Updated:

University of California Berkeley visiting professor and author Joyce Carol Oates equated President Trump‘s supporters’ attitude towards coronavirus to that of Germans who ‘adjusted to living’ with the Holocaust as it happened.

Oates, 82, who is an English professor, tweeted Thursday that: ‘for many pro-T***p Americans, the pandemic is like the Holocaust to many Germans: they knew what was happening but adjusted to living with it in indifference or, in some cases, profiting from it.’

She added that ‘only if affected personally do people seem to care.’

Author Joyce Carol Oates raised eyebrows Thursday with her tweet comparing Trump supporters’ attitudes towards coronavirus with that of some Germans under the Nazis 

Oates made the statement while responding to a tweet by a journalist who expressed surprise at the number of people ‘shrugging’ off the pandemic despite the number deaths

Oates penned the tweet in response to a journalist’s tweet expressing surprise at how many people are ‘shrugging’ off coronavirus, despite 250,000 Americans having already died from the virus during the pandemic.   

An estimated six million Jews were killed by Nazis during World War Two, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Oates, who has long refused to write out Trump’s name in her tweets, is no stranger to controversial statements.  

The Pulitzer Prize finalist drew social media fire in July 2013 with a series of tweets which appeared to associate the ‘predominant religion’ of Egypt – which is Islam – to its high rates of sexual harassment and rape.  

‘Something dispiriting about ‘Brotherhood’ political parties – wonder what it is,’ Oates tweeted, adding ‘Where 99.3% of women report having been sexually harassed & rape is epidemic – Egypt – natural to inquire: what’s the predominant religion?’

Trump is seen at a rally in Ohio on October 24, where most people in the crowd are not wearing face masks and not following coronavirus social distancing rules meant to stop its spread

Twitter users were quick to slam Oates’ comparison as being ‘offensive,’ ‘stupid’ and ‘hideous’

Protesters asking to reopen North Carolina are seen not wearing masks in Raleigh on April 14. It’s unclear what side of the political spectrum the protesters were on, however

Oates did have some supporters, who agreed with her, amongst all the negative comments

In November 2015, Oates was also slammed when she asked if there was anything ‘celebratory’ and ‘joyous’ about ISIS, the militant Islamist group, which began as an al Qaeda splinter group. 

‘All we hear of ISIS is puritanical & punitive; is there nothing celebratory & joyous? Or is query naive?’ she tweeted.

Her tweet came in the wake of the the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris, which saw gunmen armed with assault rifles and explosives target six locations around the city. During the attacks, 130 people died and 494 were wounded.  

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks in an online statement. 

And, in September 2016, prior to Trump winning the 2016 election, Oates tweeted in response to a since-deleted tweet that Trump supporters would ‘cheer’ if Hillary Clinton was killed. 

‘Do you seriously think T***p’s supporters would not cheer? Perhaps you are too calm/ comatose.’


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