How Influencers Are Milking the Coronavirus for Clout—and Money

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    Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/GettyThe novel coronavirus is a horrific pandemic that’s already killed thousands worldwide. And yes, in the U.S. it has yet to even peak—which makes the coming days and weeks a crucial time to stanch its growth. But couldn’t it also be… a branding opportunity? For some influencers, the answer appears to be an enthusiastic “Yes… and have you tried my detox program?”It will likely surprise no one that a community often criticized for pushing laxative tea and snapping photos in front of memorials has run afoul during the pandemic as well. And true to form, some influencers both established and aspiring have responded to the global pandemic by posing in gas masks, using the virus to sell their own products, and even, in one confounding case, licking an airplane toilet.The shenanigans began almost immediately when news of the virus began to spread in January. As multiple outlets reported at the time, influencers began posting photos of themselves—in some cases, shirtless or in bathing suits—using the hashtag #coronavirus. While some of the posts gestured vaguely at public service, others seemed to simply be flooding an increasingly popular hashtag.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here

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