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April 13, 2023
In a video posted to YouTube, the ex Republican governor of California hit out at those who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and who protest mask mandates.
Calling them ‘schmucks’, he told them: “Screw your freedom.” Arnold explained: “There is a virus here, it kills people, and the only way we prevent it is get vaccinated, get masks, do social distancing, washing your hands all the time, and not just to think about ‘well my freedom is being kind of disturbed here.’ No, screw your freedom.”
The 74-year-old former governor said that just because people wanted liberty wasn’t an excuse not to follow rules, comparing it to obeying traffic lights on the roads to keep other people safe. “People should know there is a virus here. It kills people, and the only way we prevent it is to get vaccinated, wear masks, do social distancing, washing your hands all the time, and not just to think about, ‘Well, my freedom is being kind of disturbed here,’” he said. “No, screw your freedom, because with freedom comes obligations and responsibilities. We cannot just say, ‘I have the right to do X, Y and Z.’ When you infect other people, that is when it gets serious.”
Schwarzenegger, who encouraged trusting public health experts and scientists who have studied viruses for decades. “We were only allowed to have a limited crowd last March, that’s when I realized that we all have to now come together,” he recalled. “And so I started putting posts out there about washing your hands regularly, wearing a mask and doing the social distancing and to follow the kind of rules that the experts put out there, and to face the fact that this is here, and this is going to grow and it’s going to expand it’s going to really affect a lot of people’s lives.”
But Schwarzenegger shared disappointment and annoyance over people still being in denial and refusing to trust science a year and half after the pandemic first hit, describing the current U.S. COVID wave as ‘a mess.’ “There’s still people that live in denial. There’s still people that don’t believe in masks. There’s still people out there that say, ‘Well, I don’t have to do social distancing and all this kind of stuff,’” he said. “I just think that people ought to be reminded over and over that the experts are saying that they have to wear masks, and especially when you go indoors.”
Schwarzenegger said that while he doesn’t want to “villainize” anyone and really wants to encourage people to work together, he argued that ignoring public health recommendations is like ignoring traffic lights. “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.’ Yeah, then you kill someone else,” he said.
“So this is the same thing with the virus. You cannot go and not put a mask on because when you breathe, you can infect someone else, and you can infect someone that then gets sick and may die. This is why I think we all have to work together on this.” He went on to call people who prioritize their own feelings amid the pandemic “schmucks” for not caring about people around them who might contract COVID and die.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: PEOPLE.COM