Arnold Schwarzenegger has had enough.
The Terminator actor had some strong words for COVID-19 deniers and anti-maskers, which he shared to his Instagram account on Wednesday. It’s captioned: “You have the freedom to be a shmuck. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”
Schwarzenegger, 74, said that humanity should be listening to experts on the subject rather than focusing on preventative measures impacting personal freedoms.
In the social media video, the former California governor said that “we are still in a mess” a year and a half after the pandemic began.
“A year and a half later, we are still in a mess and there are still people living in denial, there are still people that don’t believe in masks, there are still people out there who say, ‘Well, we don’t have to do social distancing,‘ and all this kind of stuff,” Schwarzenegger said.
“And I just think that people ought to be reminded over and over that the experts are saying that we have to wear masks, especially when you go indoors, the experts are saying that you should still wash your hands regularly, you should still do social distancing, especially now with this new comeback of the virus, which is the fourth round now, that we have to really go and work together.”
He says multiple times that people need to “come together” to end COVID-19, especially those who are still not vaccinated, choose not to wear masks in public places and otherwise disregard recommendations by health authorities.
“I always say you should know your strengths and listen to the experts. If you want to learn about building biceps, listen to me, because I’ve spent my life studying how to get the perfect peak and I have been called the greatest bodybuilder of all time. We all have different specialties,” he said.
“Dr. Fauci and all of the virologists and epidemiologists and doctors have studied diseases and vaccines for their entire lives, so I listen to them and I urge you to do the same. None of us are going to learn more than them by watching a few hours of videos. It’s simple: if your house is on fire, you don’t go on YouTube, you call the damn fire department. If you have a heart attack, you don’t check your Facebook group, you call an ambulance. If 9 doctors tell you you have cancer and need to treat it or you will die, and one doctor says the cancer will disappear, you should always side with the 9.
“In this case, virtually all of the real experts around the world are telling us the vaccine is safe and some people on Facebook are saying it isn’t.”
Schwarzenegger also weighed in on the concept of freedom, saying that while every citizen has it, inaction is enough to harm or possibly even kill somebody else.
“I think people should know there is a virus here, it kills people,” he said. “And the only way we prevent it is we get vaccinated, we wear masks, we do social distancing, washing your hands all of the time, and not just to think about, ‘Well, my freedom is being kind of disturbed here.’ No, screw your freedom. Because with freedom comes obligations and responsibilities.
“You cannot just say, ‘I have the right to do X, Y, and Z,’ when you affect other people. That is when it gets serious. It’s no different than a traffic light. They put the traffic light in the intersection so someone doesn’t kill someone else by accident. You cannot say, ‘No one is going to tell me that I’m going to stop here, I’m going to go right through it.’ Yeah, then you kill someone else.”
“It is the same thing with the virus. You cannot go and not put the mask on because when you breathe you can infect someone else, and you can infect someone that then gets sick and may die. So this is why I think we all have to work together on this… we have to come together rather than fighting and always just saying, ‘According to my principles, this is a free country and I have the freedom to wear no mask.’ Yeah, you have the freedom to wear no mask, but you know something? You’re a schmuck for not wearing a mask.”
The rapidly escalating surge in COVID-19 infections across the U.S. is once again overwhelming hospitals, especially in hot spots like Louisiana and Florida. Slightly more than 61 per cent of Americans 18 and older have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In Canada, approximately 63.1 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated.
— with files from The Associated Press