Dr. Zeke Emanuel Is Encouraging People to Go Outside

Going outside is not only safe, but good for one's mental health, the cable news guest said.

Zeke Emanuel, MD, implored Americans to go outside during a Thursday morning appearance on Morning Joe, ostensibly flouting some of the more cautious directions cable news viewers have seen throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Amid the growing political controversy surrounding the closing of public beaches and parks, Emanuel—an oncologist and bioethicist—took a position that may comes as a surprise to many. "If you're going outside, and you are socially distanced and are wearing a face mask, it should not be a concern," he offered, before noting the riskiest coronavirus behavior. "What we know is that spread is most common when you're inside for a while, breathing air, and the ventilation is not up to snuff," he added. "And that, I think, is a big worry. It's not just that people go to beaches. It's that then they go into restaurants and go into stores and they linger and that is the worry."

After host Joe Scarborough agreed, Emanuel offered that while the number of people on beaches should be regulated "so that they don't crowd," he noted, "being outside is very good. It's good for mental health." He then pointed out that outdoor activity has led to very few cases of coronavirus cases being spread. "As you point out, there are very few cases of transmission documented outside. I think it is something we ought to be encouraging, not discouraging," Emanuel said.


Emanuel is a well-known cable news guest and comes from a rather illustrious family of political and media influencers. His brother Rahm Emanuel was White House Chief of Staff under President Barack Obama before becoming mayor of Chicago, and his other brother Ari Emanuel ran the talent agency Endeavor and was the inspiration for the Entourage character Ari Gold.

The opening of parks and beaches has become something of a political football amid the ongoing debate over the coronavirus pandemic. Since Emanuel is a life-long member of the Democratic party, perhaps his words may start to tip the scales of public perception. And for more information you could know about reopening, check out 9 Mistakes You Shouldn't Make During Reopening.

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