Arts & Entertainment | August 13, 2021 1:02 pm

Arnold Schwarzenegger Has Some Choice Words for “Schmucks” Who Won’t Get Vaccinated

"No, screw your freedom, because with freedom comes obligations and responsibilities."

Arnold Schwarzenegger addresses crowd at podium
Is this the kind of man you want thinking you're a schmuck?
Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Arnold Schwarzenegger may not fear death, but as he shared earlier this year in his newsletter, he is pretty pissed off by it. This may be why he is also pretty pissed off by people who refuse to get COVID-19 vaccines and/or follow other safety measures intended to prevent themselves and others from contracting and spreading a deadly virus, a feeling he expressed in no uncertain terms during a recent CNN appearance.

On Wednesday, the actor and former governor of California delivered a heated message to Americans who invoke the freedom defense as an excuse to forgo vaccination, even going as far as to call such people one of the worst things a man over 70 can call anyone: “schmucks.”

“We have 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,” said Schwarzenegger. “It’s just that simple.”

The Governator further tore down the freedom defense, arguing that with freedom comes the responsibility to protect one’s fellow man. “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.’ No, screw your freedom, because with freedom comes obligations and responsibilities.”

The actor’s viral rant against anti-vax “schmucks” is just the latest instance of aggressive COVID-19 activism from the star, who has been a vocal proponent of following pandemic safety measures since the earliest days of the virus. Some of Schwarzenegger’s (occasionally if unsurprisingly over-the-top) efforts to raise awareness have included everything from a stay-at-home PSA starring a mini pony and a donkey, donating $1 million to a COVID-19 medical supply relief fund and later joining various other celebrities in documenting his own vaccination.

While we may not all happen to have the disposable millions and mini petting zoo animals on hand to support the fight against COVID-19 in true Schwarzenegger style, the star would simply like to remind us — in the most Schwarzeneggery way possible — that we can at least do the bare minimum. While we may have the freedom to shirk our responsibilities as we please, that doesn’t mean Arnold Schwarzenegger won’t think we’re a bunch of schmucks for doing so.