Reality Check for Partying Spring Breaker Leads to Apology

Wednesday March 25, 2020

Last weekend, Brady Sluder became the poster boy for partying Spring Breakers in Florida.

"If I get corona, I get corona," the 22-year old told CBS in a 13-second video tweet that went viral while partying in Miami. "At the end of the day, I'm not going to let it stop me from partying," Mr. Sluder said. "We're just out here having a good time. Whatever happens, happens."

Watch the video below:

With Spring Break over, Sluder went back to his home town of Milford, OH, and reality set in. On Sunday he posted a 'mea culpa' on Instagram.

"I would like to sincerely apologize for the insensitive comment I made in regards to COVID-19 while on spring break," he writes on Instagram.

"Like many others, I have elderly people who I adore more than anything in the world and other family members who are at risk, and I understand how concerning the disease is for us all. Our generation may feel invisible like I did when I commented, but we have a responsibility to listen and follow the recommendations in our communities," Sluder posts.

In the accompanying caption on Instagram he adds: "I've done a lot of things in my life that I'm not proud of. I've failed, I've let down, and I've made plenty of mistakes," he writes.

And he goes on to say that he's not looking for forgiveness, but wants to use the experience "to become a better person, a better son, a better friend, and a better citizen."

He advises people to pay attention to the healthcare officials (whose warnings he ignored in Florida). "Life is precious. Don't be arrogant and think you're invincible like myself. I've learned from these trying times and I've felt the repercussions to the fullest. Unfortunately, simply apologizing doesn't justify my behavior. I'm simply owning up to my mistakes and taking full responsibility for my actions. Thank you for your time, and stay safe everyone."

"Mr. Sluder," the New York Times reports, "whose widely shared television interview was seen as exemplifying a kind of reckless attitude that many across the country had displayed, was in Florida on spring break last week despite warnings and calls from government officials for the public to practice social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. During the television interview, he said the trip had been planned for about two or three months."

That the beaches were left open led to criticism of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who refused to shut down the state's beaches last week, "despite warnings from public health officials that there's a unique risk of the coronavirus spreading in Florida, where 27 percent of the population is over the age of 60, and several people have already died. Florida's state parks, including beaches, finally closed on Monday," the Times reports.

Mr. Sluder declined to comment on Tuesday night to the Times.

"Though young, healthy people have a lower risk of developing serious complications from the coronavirus disease COVID-19, many twenty- and thirtysomethings have still been hospitalized or even died from it," advises a report from BuzzFeed.

"Young people who don't socially distance themselves pose perhaps the greatest risk to the public, as many who contract the virus don't exhibit symptoms and can unknowingly spread it around."