BANGOR, Maine (AP) — Republican Sen. Susan Collins said Tuesday she was “shocked” to see President Donald Trump discharged from the hospital so soon, and said Trump set a poor example by appearing at the White House without a mask.
“When I saw him on the balcony of the White House, taking off his mask, I couldn’t help but think that he sent the wrong signal, given that he’s infected with COVID-19 and that there are many people in his immediate circle who have the virus,” she said. “I did not think that was a good example at all.”
The White House is now a coronavirus hotspot, with both the president and first lady having contracted the virus, along with others in their inner circle.
Collins, who has been critical of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic before, calling his performance “extremely uneven.”
She’s running against Democrat Sara Gideon, the Maine House speaker, in one of the most competitive senate races in the country — one of a handful that could decide whether Republicans keep control of the U.S. Senate. It’s the costliest political race in state history.
Collins is seeking to persuade voters who oppose Trump to stick with her. Collins has not said whether or not she’ll cast her ballot for the president. She says she didn’t vote for him in 2016.
Every Monday night, the Nelk Boys post a new video, sharing their latest exploits with their 5.7 million followers on YouTube.
These video usually involve some kind of stunt, prank and merchandise “drop.” Their appearances have been known to draw crowds, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now they’ve brought their frat act to the Jersey Shore.
After the YouTube personalities teased they would be at the Shore Monday — staying in Seaside Heights at the “Jersey Shore” house made popular by the MTV reality show — fans showed up en masse, forming a maskless crowd.
The Nelk Boys shared clips from their Shore trip on Instagram and Twitter — in one, they spray some celebratory bubbly in front of the house’s famous Italian flag-painted garage — as locals posted video of the scene on social media. Police were on hand for crowd control, and the gathering outside the Shore house seemed to grow larger as the night wore on.
Seaside Heights Police Chief Thomas Boyd told the Asbury Park Press that officers were performing “crowd control” and as of 8:30 p.m. the situation remained peaceful and under control. Boyd estimated the crowd had grown to a “couple thousand.”
Later Monday, videos on social media showed rowdier crowds.
Caution: social media posts below contain profanity.
Danny Merk, known to “Jersey Shore” fans as the employer of the cast at the Shore Store, appeared to kick the Nelk Boys out of the Shore house.
“Get your sh-t and get outta here, guys,” Merk, the landlord, told them in one video, filmed inside the house at 1209 Boardwalk. “It’s time to go.”
“Danny let them stay!!!” said “Jersey Shore” star Paul “DJ Pauly D” DelVecchio in a comment on the Instagram video.
“Hope you didn’t leave my room a mess!!!” said his co-star, Vinny Guadagnino.
The Nelk Boys, who hail from Canada, are Gen Zers Jesse Sebastiani, Kyle Forgeard and Steve Deleonardis. The trio, who lived in Los Angeles before they set off on travels across the country, are known for their visits to college campuses.
Last week, YouTube temporarily “demonetized” them after they allegedly threw parties at Illinois State University, creating a “public health risk,” BuzzFeed reported. Video they shared on Instagram showed students at on-campus parties not wearing masks or social distancing.
The Nelk Boys previously pulled a stunt in which they protested COVID-19 restrictions in Los Angeles, leading a crowd in an “open the gyms” chant.
Their latest video, posted two hours ago, claims nearly half a million views on YouTube. The installment is a compilation of various trips and pranks that starts at the Shore house and documents them getting kicked out of the parking lot of a Trump rally a few days ago.
The Nelk Boys and their Nelk associates use their appearances to hawk their Full Send merchandise, which includes a variety of basketball and baseball jerseys and hoodies.
They provide updates along the way for their 3.6 million Instagram followers and 381,000 Twitter followers.