SAS: Who Dares Wins star Ant Middleton has been slammed for a video he posted online telling fans to "get out there" amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In the since-deleted video, Middleton said: "Am I still out travelling the world? Yes
"Am I still shaking hands? Yes. Am I still cuddling fans at the airport? Yes. Am I washing my hands and keeping my hygiene to a high standard as always? Yes.
"Has my life changed? No. Am I going to let some disease, COVID-19, dictate my life? Absolutely not. Get out there, don't change, f**k COVID-19!"
In the caption for the Instagram video, Ant went on to tell fans to still give him a "cuddle or a handshake," adding: "Don't worry if I give it to you, your immune system will be stronger after then you can come back and thank me with a kiss!"
Unsurprisingly, Middleton's comments, which go completely against medical and government advice in the UK, caused a substantial backlash on Twitter.
(Note: some NSFW tweets follow).
Hey ho it’s your favourite ex-pharmacy dispenser here to remind you that COVID-19 is a virus, and viruses don’t have emotions. You can’t scare this away, or psych it out, because it DOES NOT KNOW WHAT IT IS DOING. Please don’t listen to dangerous people like Ant Middleton.— Nicoletta Wylde (@NicolettaWylde) March 20, 2020
I absolutely adore Ant Middleton but fucking hell mate, just because you're fit and healthy enough to withstand the virus doesn't mean everybody else is. Have some thought to the vulnerable people you're giving terrible advice to 😷— kels 😘 (@dracosalive) March 20, 2020
really bad move, mate.
I don’t care if he’s on telly.— Nick Jones (@resophonick) March 19, 2020
I don’t care if you want to be like him.
I don’t care if he could kill me by looking at me.
I don’t care what he thinks.@antmiddleton should be ashamed of himself. This is dangerous bullshit and will harm people.
Crikey Ant Middleton.— Mrs.Hutch🌻 (@mrshutch__) March 20, 2020
The danger of having a social media platform and then advocating hugely irresponsible behaviour
However, the former soldier has since posted another video (which you can watch at the top of this article), saying that because he's "strong and able", COVID-19 doesn't bother him.
However, he added that he will be "sensitive" towards those who are vulnerable.
The information in this story is accurate as of the publication date. While we are attempting to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to develop rapidly, so it's possible that some information and recommendations may have changed since publishing. For any concerns and latest advice, visit the World Health Organisation. If you're in the UK, the National Health Service can also provide useful information and support, while US users can contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
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