Celebrity and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had the following advice for those who are vaccine-hesitant or skeptical of masking and social distancing directives.
“Screw your freedom,” he said during a YouTube appearance with CNN’s Brianna Golodryga and retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman.
“People should know there is a virus here. It kills people. And the only way we prevent it is to get vaccinated, to wear masks, to do social distancing, washing your hands all the time, and not just to think about, ‘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,” Schwarzenegger, 74, said.
He compared people who push back against COVID-19 guidance to a driver who blows through a red stoplight.
“You cannot say, ‘No one is going to tell me that I’m going to stop here, that I have to stop at this traffic light here. I’m going to go right through it.’ Then you kill someone else,” he said.
He continued: “We all have to work together on this. The only way we can lick this virus is [to] come together rather than fighting and always just saying, ‘According to my principles, this is a free country and I’m going to 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. Because you’re supposed to protect your fellow members around you. It’s just that simple. This is the way I feel about it.”
“I don’t want to villainize anyone here, but I just wanted to tell everyone, let’s work together and let’s stop fighting because there is a virus, and it’s better to get vaccinated [and] to wear a mask.”
Schwarzenegger compared his own expertise with bodybuilding — “I’ve studied this issue for 50 years” — with the expertise of Dr. Anthony Fauci, who’s been studying this “probably for his entire life,” the Terminator franchise star speculated.
“Why would you not believe someone like that?”