"It's killed someone very, very close to me."
UPDATE 11/28/20 7:30AM
Jake Paul said he was "misquoted" after a recent interview with The Daily Beast claimed he called COVID-19 a "hoax."
"[The reporter} took what I said out of context, and I told him that. I told him that the whole entire time," the Youtube star, 23, told The Verge. "COVID is very, very real. COVID is very real, like, it's killed so many people. It's killed people I know. It's killed someone very, very close to me. So that's what I'm saying. I don't even know where that came from."
"If I say one sentence and people want to take that out of context, that's exactly my point," he added. "I'm not going to be perfect."
After the The Verge article came out, the reporter from The Daily Beast tweeted an audio recording of the original interview to prove Paul was not misquoted (below).
Here's the audio of @JakePaul telling me COVID is "a hoax," that America should open back up, and comparing it to the flu: https://t.co/bqQKvQrUjs— Marlow Stern (@MarlowNYC) November 27, 2020 @MarlowNYC
ORIGINAL STORY 11/25/20 8:30AM
Jake Paul just severely downplayed the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic in a wild new interview with The Daily Beast.
Reporter Marlow Stern addressed many of Paul's recent controversies with the YouTube star, who was criticized by fans -- as well as the mayor of Calabasas -- for throwing influencer-packed parties at his mansion with zero regard for social distancing guidelines earlier this year.
When asked whether he regretted saying the pandemic wouldn't stop him from living his life, Paul was less than apologetic and instead doubled down on his beliefs.
Jake Paul On Partying Amid Pandemic: 'I Am Not the Type of Person Who's Gonna Sit Around and Not Live My Life'View Story
"It's time for us to open up. Obviously, it's a controversial subject, but it's time for our nation to open up and go back to normal," he said. "There are people losing jobs, there are small businesses who are going bankrupt, there are millions of people who are unemployed right now, people are turning to alcohol and drugs to cope with everything that's going on. This is the most detrimental thing to our society. COVID cases are at less than 1 percent, and I think the disease is a hoax."
He went on to falsely compare Covid deaths to deaths from the flu, made it clear he believed there was already an available Covid vaccine -- there isn't -- and initially refused to elaborate on his hoax claim. Paul and Stern then got into a back-and-forth over whether the reporter agreed to the interview with "an agenda" to get a "viral article" out of it. "If you wanted to learn more about me, you wouldn't ask about the incidents," he added.
Paul went on to claim that many of the influencers publicly criticizing him for throwing maskless parties are turning around and doing the same thing themselves -- and only slammed him and others like him "to get people to like them."
After telling those considered "at risk" to be careful, Paul then expressed confusion over why "a hundred percent of our nation is shut down due to the 1 percent who's at risk." He added it "doesn't make sense to me" and "it doesn't add up." He then theorized that "there's something more behind it that the government's not telling us."
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Paul and Stern continued a testy back-and-forth over what health professionals have recommended amid the pandemic, as the YouTuber proclaimed, "98 percent of news is fake." To get a full feel of the interview, we highly recommend reading the whole Q&A here.
Fellow YouTube star Tyler Oakley -- who previously called out Paul for his parties on social media -- continued to criticize him after reading select quotes from the article. "f--k you, @jakepaul," he tweeted, along with a screenshot of the interview.
In a followup post in which he also shared a link to the full piece, Oakley added, "this entire @thedailybeast interview... wow. what a mess. @jakepaul remains aggressively ignorant, & so embarrassing."
Added comedian Christine Sydelko in his comments, "a stupid asshole agrees with conservatives??? I'm shocked"