Matt Damon has spoken out against reluctance and misinformation over vaccination amid an increase in coronavirus cases sweeping the United States.
With the rapid spread of the highly contagious delta variant, cases in the United States have increased by about 70% over the past week, hospital admissions have increased by about 36%, and deaths have increased by 26%, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday. CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky warned that the epidemic in the United States is becoming “an unvaccinated pandemic” as nearly all hospital admissions and deaths are among those that do. had not been vaccinated.
Speaking to Yahoo Entertainment, Damon called on people to get vaccinated for free. However, he made sure to note that he understands that there are many reasons why people may still be hesitant.
“There are a lot of reasons people have, and I don’t want to belittle them,” he told the outlet. “It is difficult for me, I have a few friends who are immunocompromised and they cannot get the vaccine, so they have no choice but to rely on the rest of us to do our part. achieve collective immunity. So I look like that. “
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Collective immunity is seen as a threshold at which the virus will not be transmitted as easily from person to person due to vaccination efforts. However, the United States is not on track to meet this threshold due in large part to the reluctance to vaccinate. Damon noted that the messages at the start of the pandemic may have played a role in the current situation the country finds itself in.
“I wish that at the start of this story people would come out and say, ‘Look, if we all do this, then we’ll protect ourselves better’, rather than ‘Well I’m not part of that cohort, so I don’t. have to worry and it’s not going to hurt me too much, “the ‘Stillwater’ actor said at the point of sale.” It’s just about looking at it as a ‘me’ thing or a ‘thing’ we’.”
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The star concluded his thoughts on the matter by noting that he understands that no one can force others to get vaccinated. However, he urged Americans to trust scientists rather than fall into social media misinformation traps.
“But look, it’s a personal choice. It’s the beauty of America, it’s a free country,” Damon concluded. “And none of us would have it any other way. But I’m strongly on the side of trusting science more than something you read on Facebook.”
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Damon’s comments echo those of President Joe Biden, who said earlier this week that the proliferation of disinformation on Facebook is “killing people.”
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The actor’s name appeared very early in the pandemic after his 2011 film “Contagion” started trending once people noticed that he portrayed a surprisingly precise response to a global pandemic. In the film, Damon plays a father who loses his wife to illness and must protect his only daughter at all costs.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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