Former bodybuilding legend and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger railed at Americans who are balking at new coronavirus restrictions and mask mandates in the face of the spreading delta variant of COVID-19, at one point during an interview telling them, “Screw your freedom!”
Schwarzenegger, who is also a former GOP governor of California, joined CNN with Trump impeachment witness, retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, and host Bianna Golodryga to discuss the evolution of the pandemic and the restrictions that came with it.
Explaining that he got on board with those restrictions early on after his annual Arnold Classic bodybuilding competition was canceled as the virus spread in the spring of 2020, the seven-time Mr. Olympia champion then lashed out at people “still living in denial.”
“There’s still people who don’t believe in masks,” he said. “There’s still people out there who say, well, we don’t have to do social distancing and all this kind of stuff.”
“I just think that people ought to be reminded over and over that the experts are saying we have to wear masks, and especially when you go indoors. The experts are saying we still should wash our hands regularly,” he continued. “We should still do social distancing, especially now with” the new delta variant, “which is the fourth round now.”
After saying there is “misinformation out there,” Schwarzenegger added that while he is an expert at “building a bicep” after studying how to do so “for 50 years,” others have studied viral infections, mentioning lead immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci, specifically.
“Why would you not believe someone like that?” he asked. “There are so many other scientists out there and experts. So I believe them, and I follow them very carefully, and of course, sometimes things are happening that are unexpected.”
“But I think 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, ‘Well, my freedom is being kind of disturbed here,” he mocked.
“No! Screw your freedom! Because with freedom comes obligations and responsibilities,” Schwarzenegger insisted. “You cannot just say, ‘I have the right to do X, Y, and Z.’ When you affect other people, that is when you get serious. It’s like no different than a traffic light. We put the traffic light at the intersection so that someone doesn’t kill someone else by accident.”
Later, the star of “Conan” and “The Terminator” doubled down in a tweet, writing, “Like I said, pure freedom would also mean ignoring red lights, but we don’t do that because it would kill our fellow citizens.”
“…because with freedom comes obligations and responsibilities.” Like I said, pure freedom would also mean ignoring red lights, but we don’t do that because it would kill our fellow citizens.
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) August 11, 2021
— Catturd ™ (@catturd2) August 11, 2021
Social media users clapped back at the former bodybuilding champ, however.
“That’s right, you’re of Austrian descent, right next to a famous authoritarian country … is it a learned trait from this region?” one Twitter user wrote.
“Apples and oranges. Poor analogy,” said another user.
“Except there have been laws that were passed through proper procedures by elected legislators to make those things illegal…there have been no laws passed to force you to wear masks,” said another.
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